Yearly: 2015

black-illustration

What’s the role of role plays?

18th March 2015

As experts in collaborative communication, CMA’s workshops rely heavily on role plays to help participants develop their negotiation, influence and conflict resolution skills. Not surprisingly, many participants are somewhat apprehensive about this. Some clients are also asking whether role plays are genuinely effective in the transfer of learning – and many ask for the scenarios to be customised to have stronger [...] READ MORE

thank you feedback

Don’t spit the dummy: how to respond to critical feedback

18th March 2015

How do you manage your reaction to something that hits you when you’re least expecting it? I was once hit in the stomach with a basketball that I didn’t see coming. It knocked the wind right out of me, and I instinctively yelled: “I’m going to tell my mother on you!” In my defence, I was eight years old and [...] READ MORE

Choir green

Music lesson: creating harmony through effective collaboration

14th April 2015

What is your ‘fantasy ambition’? Mine is to be a musician. So when I agreed to sing a few pieces at my old law firm’s annual client function, I was secretly hoping that I would be ‘discovered’ and my career in music would take off. But the reality turned out to be a bit different. What happened [...] READ MORE

Malcolm Turnbull Prime Minister Australia

Collaboration: working together to fuel innovation

8th December 2015

It’s official: the “Century of Ideas” has begun. The Turnbull government has come out swinging with its first major policy document: an Innovation Statement. After decades of lamenting the “brain drain”, Australians can now look forward to an era of greater investment and lower risk for researchers and entrepreneurs who invest in the commercialisation of new ideas. The [...] READ MORE

Geelong FC

Driving change: is principled negotiation the answer?

4th November 2015

“Fair prices and minimal drama”: these were the words that caught my attention when I read The Age’s recent article on how a Harvard-based negotiation strategy helped the Geelong and Adelaide Football Clubs negotiate a complex player exchange. Senior executives from both clubs had recently completed short programs on negotiation at Harvard University and were sufficiently inspired that they put the theory into [...] READ MORE

driving

Driving lesson: mastering the learning journey

16th July 2015

When was the last time you drove on the wrong side of the road? Not literally, of course. I’m talking about turning off ‘autopilot’ and venturing into unfamiliar territory – in the pursuit of growth and learning. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck refers to this as having a ‘growth mindset’, which has been shown to improve motivation and productivity in [...] READ MORE

Harvard yard

Harvard trip report: my professional pilgrimage

25th August 2015

For many, the opportunity to study at Harvard University is a dream come true – like seeing the Northern Lights or swimming with a whale shark. (Or not.) In June, I had the good fortune to spend two weeks at the Harvard Negotiation Institute, attending intensive negotiation workshops led by acclaimed experts Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone. My [...] READ MORE

evaluation

If it’s broken, fix it – don’t throw performance reviews away

13th August 2015

It seems that performance review bashing has become the newest sport in human resources. Recent weeks have seen several major Australian corporates announce that they are scrapping annual performance reviews. These announcements are sending some practitioners jumping for joy – after all, plenty of research shows us that no-one like performance reviews. Before we get [...] READ MORE

garden

Negotiation: learn from the small stuff

7th September 2015

Do you find yourself regularly dealing with minor day to day frustrations?  Or perhaps you have people bringing you endless small problems to solve.  These things certainly seem to crop up a lot for me.  And although I no longer work regularly on major negotiations, I certainly still get a lot of negotiation practice. As I [...] READ MORE

reality tv

Performance feedback: does “tough love” really work?

30th July 2015

If you think reality television is a waste of time, think again. While some would say that it’s the detritus of the entertainment industry, there’s one area in which it generally excels – in the quantity and quality of its feedback conversations. The ability to give effective feedback is an essential leadership skill and, in our experience, [...] READ MORE