To exit interview or not to exit interview?

Uncategorized Mar 28, 2020

A director of a company, who had just found out that one of his favourite staff members had decided to resign, told me that he would not give this person any more of his time or energy and he would not, therefore, be offering her an exit interview.

He was personally very triggered by this person’s decision to leave.  He felt it was an attack on him. He felt that she was ungrateful and that she didn’t deserve anything extra from him or the company.

He also said that it would be a complete waste of time to conduct an exit interview because if she had a problem, she should have said so before she made the decision to jump ship so that they could have done something to address the problem.

I am confident that this person didn’t speak up beforehand because this director was not very good at receiving feedback. He had the potential to argue the point if people didn’t agree with him.

However, I think he is right… it is too late to try to fix problems...

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No need for judgement

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2020

On a recent red-eye flight to Sydney, the woman next to me put her backpack on her tray table, pulled her hoodie over her head and appeared to be sleeping.

The tea and coffee trolley came and went. She appeared to sleep through it all.

Fair enough – it was really early.

It was a bit of a bumpy flight; the seat belt sign came on about half an hour into the flight and they said over the loudspeaker that there would be no more hot drinks on this flight.

Eventually the woman next to me surfaced. It was just as the flight attendant was going past picking up the rubbish. My neighbour asked if she could have a drink.  A tea… no make that a coffee.

My first thought was “are you kidding me… you’ve slept through the foodservice and you are now wanting the flight attendant to drop everything and get you a hot drink.”  Then my self-righteous good girl persona kicked in and I thought “And you’ve asked for a hot drink and they are not...

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Contractors are people too

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

The other day a contractor received some feedback on their performance.  An email stating certain “facts”. These facts were the percentages of how much work the contractor had completed in a timely fashion.

These statistics suggested that the contractor was not meeting the standards set by the organisation. Uh oh.

That was the only information provided. No commentary on whether this was good or bad. No checking in. Just “facts”.

The contractor shrugged. This was common. A random email suggesting that their work was not meeting the target. No biggie. This happened all the time. They still kept being given work. This email was a non-story. It meant nothing. The organisation was just ticking a box saying they had provided feedback. Who cares? Delete!

This organisation really needs the work the contractor did to be completed.  It’s difficult work; work that no-one really wants to do. They struggle to find competent contractors. Everyone knows...

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My dog Margaret has gone blind and she has taught me a lot

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2020

A few months ago, Margaret, my nine-year-old Maltese Shih Tzu x Toy Poodle went blind.  She has SARS – some tragic medical condition that middle-aged, slightly overweight female dogs are prone to get. Who knew!

I have felt so incredibly sad for Margaret.  She is a beautiful soul who loves to run and run and run.  The highlight of her week used to be when we would go to this park near us that has multiple ovals and I’d let her off the lead and let her run.

Now she walks tentatively around the house. She regularly walks gently into a wall, using this as a signpost as to where she needs to go next.

When she first lost her sight, she would often get “lost” in the kitchen, not knowing how to find us, particularly if she got very excited because someone had arrived at the house.

We have had to make a lot of adjustments to ensure that Margaret is safe. We can’t move the furniture; we can’t get out a box or a folding chair for a future...

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I’ve been stressing out my air conditioner

Uncategorized Mar 24, 2020

The weather has turned. Hooray! Spring has sprung and I had a huge need to do some spring cleaning on our first warm weekend in what seems like forever. 

So I decided to tackle the air-conditioner in the kitchen.  We have an almost flat roof (electricians love us – not!) and so we have to have split systems around the house.  There is an air-conditioning system above the sink in the kitchen.  

The top of the system looked pretty grubby, so I thought I’ll get up there, clean out the filters and just tidy it up a bit.  Then I opened the cover and woah – it was filthy! There were dead flies, even a dead wasp and the filters were putrid. (Sorry – I hope you’re not eating at the moment). 

What I recognised at that moment is that we had unintentionally been putting the unit under significant stress over the last (too many) months (I’m not good at this cleaning gig) and this had not only been inefficient but also...

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My eBook app really cares

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2020

In 2019 I decided to take some of my own advice and not work so much.  In particular, I am, once again, reading for pleasure and not just reading for work.

Once upon a time, I read a lot of novels; but not for many years.

However, to the great disappointment of my husband, I read my books on my iPad.  That way I always have it with me, I can read in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, and I just find it to be very practical.

And recently I have noticed that my eBook app is cheering me on.  I get these notifications at night congratulating me on meeting my goals (that I don’t remember setting) of reading every day.

And the creators of these apps are clever people; because I look at that notification and feel a little bit pumped, a little bit more inclined to read again tomorrow night.

I have also dealt with some employers who tell me that they don’t understand why they “should” have to give praise to or thank people who are...

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Episode 21: Santa Claus – Dealing with high levels of stress

podcast Mar 22, 2020

Santa’s work has the potential to trigger quite of lot conflict. He is under a lot of pressure to keep a lot of people very happy; whilst managing elves and reindeer. Santa discusses how he manages his stress at this busy time of year.


Special Guest: Santa Claus


Listen here:


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Episode 20: Alan Short – Managing the risk of fire

podcast Mar 21, 2020

Alan runs a fire protection service. How do you get people to take the risks seriously instead of thinking that bad things happen to other people.


Special Guest: Alan Short, Managing Director


Listen here:


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Episode 19: Tony Knight – How to teach people to act

podcast Mar 20, 2020

Tony has taught some of Australian’s best-known actors. How do you teach acting and how do you help actors deal with the stressors associated with being judged all of the time or dealing with rejection.


Special Guest: Tony Knight, Acting coach, Photographer, Chauffer


Listen here:


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The Conflict Coach Podcast

Uncategorized Feb 29, 2020

I love people and I love their stories. 

In my life, I have been blessed to have met or spoken with literally thousands of people. I have heard so many people’s stories. Stories of pain, joy, grief, humour and love. 

I love talking to people and I have found people like talking to me.  I have often thought that there is an invisible message on my forehead that says “tell Kate your story” because so many people have entrusted me with their incredible and sometimes intensely personal stories. 

I am also interested in conflict. In how conflict presents itself in other people’s workplaces or lives.  I am not just talking about workplace conflict; in fact, that is only one type of conflict. But so many industries and services organisations exist to help people manage their stress and deal with issues which in the long run reduce the incidences of conflict and pain in our world. 

I want to talk about those conflicts more.  I want...

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