What I Learned at NYC-SHRM

Last Friday, I introduced Harmony Circles to a packed room of Human Resource professionals from all across New York City. I had been invited to speak at the NYC-SHRM conference, to introduce some key concepts from the world of ADR (alternative dispute resolution), as they apply to business settings. ADR has been gaining attention and impact in many spheres of American life, and I was excited to contribute to its application in the business world, by way of discussing a unique application in the workspace. A few hours before I spoke, Johnny C. Taylor Jr. challenged the crowd with a fascinating […]

What My Chemistry Teacher Taught Me About Conflict

In high school, I had a fantastic chemistry teacher, Mrs. B, who was driven to inspire us with a love of learning. We were a crowd of honors students, and she seemed to bare her soul to us, through her passion for chemistry. In her commitment to challenge us in our scientific growth, she served as a role model for what teaching can and should be. And it only occurred to me recently that although my career has little to do with chemistry (aside from interpersonal “chemistry,” as a metaphor for love relations), she imparted a wisdom that I use […]

Managing the Difficult Task of Firing an Employee

Handling Difficult Conversations

A friend in human resources recently shared with me that the toughest part of her new job is when she has to fire/let go of an employee. She can handle long-hours, neurotic personalities, and even an angry or belittling comment, but being the “bad guy” and bearer of bad-news feels jarringly wrong. Unfortunately, this is an integral part of her job, so she reluctantly does what needs to be done. But she doesn’t enjoy it and wishes there were someone else, or another way, to do it. Human resource professionals primarily focus on the soft-side of business. They help train […]