Alan Jones: How can we disagree without being disagreeable?

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

toxic behaviourLast weekend I spent some time writing to all the companies who advertise on Alan Jones’ 2GB Radio show. For non-Aussies, I should explain that Alan Jones is a Sydney based ‘shock jock’. A right-wing radio talk-show host. He doesn’t like our current Prime Minister. He has previously said that she should be placed in a chaff bag and dumped at sea. But the comment which sparked people like me into action was a reference to the Prime Minister’s father, John Gillard, who died recently. ‘The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame to think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament,’ Jones told a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner audience. As of today, I’m glad to note that several companies have pulled their sponsorship from the show, although the chances are that they will return once the noise has died down. (more…)

Peace is not the absence of war: the limits of conflict transformation

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
US troops in Iraq

US troops in Iraq

My third contribution to the Peacebuilders Panel on TransConflict centres around Baruch Spinoza’s observation that Peace is not an absence of war.

The proposition we were asked to write about is this:

Conflict transformation goes beyond merely seeking to contain and manage conflict, instead seeking to transform the root causes themselves – or the perceptions of the root causes – of a particular conflict;

Here is what I wrote: (more…)

Courage – the first quality of a trustbuilder

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Maori Warrior

Trustbuilders need the courage of a warrior

Teams pull together when there is trust. So a team leader has to be, above all things, a trustbuilder. Of the many qualities needed to fulfil that role, the first quality of a trustbuilder is courage.

That’s right, Courage. Other qualities like Listening, Compassion, Integrity and Flexibility are also vital. But Courage comes first. (more…)

Listening – the best tool for resolving conflict in the workplace

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Listening ears (photo:

Have you ever had an experience of trying to communicate when someone is not listening to you. How did it make you feel? Hurt? Rejected? Frustrated? Angry?

What about when you have been listened to – the kind of listening when someone has given your full attention without interrupting, judging, telling you what you did wrong and what you should do?

Unfortunately, that kind of experience of listening is not too common for most of us. But when we get it, just the act of being listened to make us feel better – less angry, more in control and capable of sorting our own problems out. (more…)

Conflict analysis – four causes of conflict, part 2. Different interests

Saturday, January 28th, 2012
Dogs fighting


This is the second part of a four-part series on conflict analysis looking at the four root causes of conflict in the workplace. Part 1, different information, looked at the conflict when two or more parties have different information.

The second root of conflict, different interests, is when two parties want different outcomes. This is just part of life and can’t be avoided. We are all individuals with different preferences, tastes, desires and different sets of values. It gets particularly painful when the stakes are high as in when someone’s job in on the line or large sums of money are involved. (more…)

My Wordle – its all about relationships

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I’ve just been getting my head around Google+ and filling out my profile.  One blog on Social Media Examiner suggested pasting your profile words into Wordle to see what it looks like.

This is my result:
Wordle: Mike Lowe profile

I’m glad that it has got relationships in the centre. Because really, that is what it’s all about.

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow