The Practitioner: playing peacemaker


BEING PEACEMAKER is not a role I would normally expect to take on in the workplace. At home with a couple of teenagers in full battle yes, but not in the office!

The tax return deadline must be getting to everyone, however. Together with the management meeting bust up last month, and the recent partner fallout, I am finding myself in the role of goodwill ambassador and arbitrator more and more. 

The partner fallout has calmed down somewhat, and lines of communication are open once again, but for two weeks I have found myself hunkered down in the midst of all-out partner warfare.

The worst thing about it was being stuck in the crossfire and unable to take sides. If I had joined either camp I’m pretty certain that the firm as we know it would have begun to fall apart.

I realised from very early on during hostilities that it was crucial that I remain impartial and let things take their natural course. Honest broker is more my line.

Senior members of staff have recently got wind of the fallout and that was also difficult to navigate. I was aware that some managers only work for one of the partners and that they would obviously be drawn to taking sides.

But we had to dig in. After several tense and nervy one-on-ones with the partners concerned, and a clear-the-air gathering with all senior management, things are back to normal, possibly even better than normal.

I’m a modest person by nature, but take full credit for the ceasefire and the future of the firm as we know it. I must have been reading too many management coaching books recently, but when push came to shove it all fell into place. 

Maybe I’m in the wrong job? Need an international peace envoy? Perhaps politics is calling?  After all, I know all about dealing with dodgy expenses claims.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England


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