When you’re a nice person, conflict can be a real challenge. Not that mean people are any better at conflict; they just enjoy it more.

New research from Columbia University shows that how you handle conflict can make or break your career.

The researchers measured something scientifically that many of us have seen first-hand:

  • people who are too aggressive in conflict situations harm their performance by upsetting and alienating their peers
  • while people who are too passive at handling conflict hinder their ability to reach their goals.
  • The secret to effective handling of conflict is assertiveness – that delicate place where you get your needs met without bullying the other person into submission.Assertive people strike a careful balance between passivity and aggression (that is, they never lean too far in either direction).How to handle conflict assertively:

    It’s easy to think that nice people are too passive. While that’s often true, unchecked passivity can boil over into aggression. So there are plenty of very nice people out there who have exhibited both extremes of the assertiveness spectrum.

    To be assertive, you need to learn to engage in healthy conflict. Healthy conflict directly and constructively addresses the issue at hand without ignoring or trivializing the needs of either party. The strategies that follow will get you there.

    Consider the repercussions of silence.

    Sometimes it’s hard to muster the motivation to speak up when the likelihood is high that things will turn ugly. The fastest way to motivate yourself to act is to fully consider the costs of not speaking up – they’re typically far greater than not standing up for yourself. The trick is that you need to shift your attention away from the headache that will come with getting involved… to all of the things you stand to gain from your assertiveness.

    Say “and” instead of “but.” 

    The simple act of replacing the word “but” with “and” makes conflict much more constructive and collaborative. Say, for example, that your teammate wants to use the majority of your budget on a marketing campaign, but you’re worried that doing so won’t leave enough money for a critical new hire. Instead of saying, “I see that you want to use the money for marketing, but I think we need to make a new hire,” say “I see that you want to use the money for marketing, and I think we need to make a new hire.” The difference is subtle, but the first sentence minimizes the value of his idea. The second sentence states the problem as you see it, without devaluing his idea, which then opens things up for discussion. Saying “and” makes the other party feel like you’re working with them, rather than against them.

    Use hypotheticals.

    When you assert yourself, you don’t want it to look like you’re poking holes in their idea (even when you are). Hypotheticals are the perfect way to pull this off. Telling someone, for example, “Your new product idea won’t work because you overlooked how the sales team operates” comes across much more aggressively than suggesting the hypothetical, “How do you think our sales team will go about selling this new product?” When you see a flaw and present a hypothetical, you’re engaging with the original idea and giving the other party a chance to explain how it might work. This shows that you’re willing to hear the other person out.

    Don’t speak in absolutes (“You Always” or “You Never.”) 

    No one always or never does anything. People don’t see themselves as one-dimensional, so you shouldn’t attempt to define them as such. Using these phrases during conflict makes people defensive and closed off to your message. Instead, point out what the other person did that’s a problem for you. Stick to the facts. If the frequency of the behaviour is an issue, you can always say, “It seems like you do this often.” or “You do this often enough for me to notice.”

    Ask good open questions until you get to the heart of the matter. (Questioning funnel)

    Failing to understand the motive behind someone’s behaviour throws fuel on the fire of conflict, because it makes everything they do appear foolish and short-sighted. Instead of pointing out flaws, you should seek to understand where the other person is coming from. Try asking good questions, such as. Why did you choose to do it that way? What do you mean by that? And Can you help me to understand this better? Even when you don’t see eye to eye, using questions to get to the underlying motive builds trust and understanding, both of which are conflict killers.

    When you challenge, offer solutions.

    People don’t like it when they feel as if you’re simply attempting to take apart their idea. When you challenge someone’s idea, but also offer a solution, you demonstrate that you want to work together to come up with a fix.

    This reinforces the value of their idea. For example, you might say “One potential problem that I see with your idea is ___. However, I think we can overcome this problem if we can just figure out a way to___.” In this example, you aren’t even providing the solution. You’re just acknowledging that you’re willing to work together to find one.

    Bringing it all together:

    Mastering conflict requires emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent people know how to craft their message in a conflict, whether they’re naturally assertive or not. They take other people’s feelings into account while still asserting themselves confidently.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/handling-conflict-nicely/


What is your day job? 

My day job is a Project Manager working on Civil Construction projects.

 How did you get into construction?

 I always loved to build things when I was a child. Things such as model cars and planes, cubby houses and billy carts. As I grow older I started building beach buggies then cars.  You name it, my brothers and I probably tried to build it and drive it. I was always fascinated in large construction and earthmoving equipment, this fascination and the sense of achievement of setting a goal to build something and the enjoyment of actually completing it got me into construction.

Have you had any other career phases?

I’ve worked as a civil engineer since graduating from University of Newcastle.

How did your passion for fast cars develop? 

I guess the passion for slick cars developed when I was a child collecting matchbox cars, then it grew when I first got my licence with an old V8 Holden driving to/from school. I had also loved nice cars and this dream has now become reality.

When and why did you start Hunter Supercruise?

In August 2014, when my wife Maria and I finally got the nerve to actually put our money up to kick of the idea of renting out supercars to customers to actually drive them. We started off just attending car shows showing our 1968 Camaro, however the opportunity for people to not only see the cars but drive them was the reason we started Hunter Supercruise. Most guys decide to build a car, but we decided to build a business that could use our cars.

 What model of cars do you offer to clients? 

We offer a selection of cars, ranging from old school American Muscle Car, the 1968 Chev Camaro SS to our exotic supercars a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera or a 2013 McLaren MP4- 12C. The muscle car has always been our favourite and appeals to some of the old generation. The Lamborghini is popular for the kids over eight on our joyrides and the wives and girlfriends as a gift idea for Christmas and birthdays. The McLaren is relatively new to our fleet and has had some great feedback as being the ultimate supercar. All our cars offer different driving experience such as V10 All wheel drive vs twin turbo V8 rear wheel drive to our big block muscle car.

 What is your business model?

Our business model is to offer our customers a unique experience. The pure joy and thrill of  riding in a high performance supercar or classic muscle car. We offer our cars for wedding hire, school formal transport and driving experiences. Our objective is to provide the most powerful and exciting cars for customers to experience.

List your intineraries?  

The three-hour Hunter vineyard cruise is based around some beautiful country roads such as Mount Sugar Loaf, up to Cessnock then a quick stop at Hungerford Hill Cellar Door. Through Branxton and down the back roads of Stanhope and Maitland Vale through Morpeth and return to Wickham. Our one-hour hour Newcastle Beach Cruise takes in the Newcastle coast line via, Nobbys, Newcastle, Bar Beach, etc with a photo opportunity at Dixon Park.

What is the most popular itinerary?

It is always great travelling through the vineyards just before harvesting.

 Have you ever had any famous clients?  Our most famous client has been Toby Price – 2016 Dakar Winner who took our McLaren for a quick trip around Newcastle Beaches and a photo opportunity at Bar Beach. Toby is a great bloke and it is amazing what he has done so far in his racing career, and it is great to see a Novocastrian as number 1 in the world.

What does it cost to ride in one of your cars?

Our 20-minute joyrides start at $149, with our drive packages from $399 for one-hour or $799 for three hours. We also have a drive and dine package with Scratchelys for $599.

 As a Novocastrian, what is the place that makes you feel most proud of the city?

The beaches and the country side makes me most proud, and we love showcasing these aspects to our customers who some have never been to Newcastle.

How can Newcastle be improved?

We would love to increase the number of tourists to our region, I see this as one of the main growth areas for Newcastle. We need to improve the whole tourist experience, with improved roads, transport and parking. If we can build a cruise terminal, along with more accommodation, more attractions and things to do, Newcastle could be an awesome tourist destination.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4513173/the-man-putting-lamborghinis-on-hunter-streets/


Omitting your graduation date isn’t “sketchy,” in fact, it’s a very effective technique for older job seekers. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there, but here are three techniques that’ll propel you past the age-specific concerns that are getting in your way.

1. Get Ahead of Objections

Before you head into an interview (regardless of your age) you should ask yourself what in your background might be of concern to the hiring manager. Sometimes frequent relocation or short stints of employment raise eyebrows. For the older job seeker, they might be how your professional experience lines up with the role you’re after and what kind of salary you require.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a more mid-level role that won’t have you managing anyone, a younger hiring manager may wonder why you aren’t after a lead or management position. They may also presume that they can’t afford you based on your years of experience.

You can get ahead of their worries in how you answer the “tell me about yourself” question. Providing examples that proactively address a hiring manager’s age-based concerns is the way to eliminate them. Talking about your desire to remain hands-on can explain your lack of interest in a management position.

2. Align With the Culture

This is possibly the most important thing that you can do. Having a thorough understanding of a company’s core values, and being able to demonstrate your alignment with them is crucial to overcoming the unspoken concern that the rest of the team might be younger than you.

Pay special attention to the office culture, and if possible, try to land an informational interview with someone from the company. Nothing quite compares to having an internal champion singing your praises before you even apply to the job.

3. Do Not (Directly) Comment on Your Age

If you’re interviewing with a person several years younger than you, keeping the focus on your relevant skills is key. Avoid statements that shift the focus to your age. Saying things like “Oh, I’m probably aging myself” in reference to an industry tool or obsolete brand or “I’ve worked with this system—but not since 2004” isn’t helpful. Instead, refer to your experience by employer, not by year.

Try, “I had a chance to use this system with JP Morgan,” or “I’ve been playing with the most recent release”—both better options than unnecessarily dating yourself.

At the end of the day, a company that won’t even look your way because of your age is not a place you want to be. When experience is viewed as a liability instead of a benefit, it’s not a job you will love or a place you will succeed. Finding companies and roles that value employees for their skill sets is key to finding professional happiness.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/ask-a-career-coach-how-do-i-get-around-ageism-in-the-job-search?ref=recently-published-2


We all often face the same problem: The workweek drags by at a glacial pace, while the weekend speeds past us before we even realize what’s happening.

Mathematically, of course, it all makes sense. But, what if you could change that? What if you could use your time so efficiently that you had all of your important to-dos wrapped up by Thursday?

Even if you can’t actually pack up, leave the office, and take every Friday off (we wish, right?), wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have that whole “bonus” day to stop putting out fires and instead get a jumpstart on next week—or even use that day to tackle those bigger ambitions that have been permanently parked in your back seat?

I know, it sounds impossible. But, skepticism aside, it’s totally doable if you use your time effectively. In fact, numerous companies have actually begun instituting flexible or four-day workweeks for their employees.

So, how do these people manage to pull this off? It’s not as tough as you think.

1. They Schedule Intentionally

You’re aiming to view Friday as the extra day tacked onto the end of your workweek—a day when all of your weekly tasks are finished and you can finally have a clear head and a somewhat empty plate.

This means you’ll want to avoid scheduling meetings, phone calls, and other important get-togethers on that day (unless it’s just a casual coffee get-together with a networking contact). Instead, you want Friday to provide a large chunk of totally uninterrupted time that you can use however you’d like.

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, swears by this no-meeting structure—although, he implements it on Wednesdays for his team. “With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager,” he says in an article for Inc., “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work.”

This intentional scheduling applies throughout your entire workweek. In order to set yourself up for an empty Friday, you’ll also need to keep a close eye on your schedule during the other days as well.

No, you don’t always have complete control over your calendar. However, it’s important that you frequently check through your schedule to see how your week’s shaping up. If you think you have far too many commitments and not enough time to actually work, you’ll need to see what you can move around or back out of.

2. They Focus on Priorities

You start your week with the best intentions and a laundry list of things you’re going to tackle in the office. But, when Friday rolls around, you’re shocked to realize that you barely accomplished any of them. You were too caught up in the emergencies that cropped up.

As Stephen R. Covey, the incredibly successful businessman and author, said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

People who get everything wrapped up before Friday know the value of effective prioritization, and many of them use the time management matrix developed by Covey in order take a step back and readjust their focus on the things that are critical, rather than time-pressing.

Oftentimes, there’s a big difference between how you’re actually spending your time and how you should be spending your time. And, if you want to have Friday reserved as free space, you’re going to need to constantly evaluate your priorities and ensure that you’re channeling your energy into the right things.

3. They Tune Out Distractions

Of course, you’re going to need to maximize every single minute of the days you actually do have. And, that means minimizing distractions as much as possible.

If you can’t focus at your desk with the office chatter and phone calls happening around you, try to find a quiet spot (or, if you’re desperate, some noise-canceling headphones) so that you can get into a groove and zone in on whatever you’re working on.

Another distraction you’ll want to keep at bay? Emails. So, close out that browser tab and resist the siren song of your inbox. You can even take a cue from Tommy John’s CEO, Tom Patterson, and set an out-of-office message that lets everybody know you’re only reading your emails at a certain time. That way, you won’t feel as tempted to keep checking in on your inbox.

4. They Find Shortcuts

You might hear the word “shortcut” and assume that means shoddy work. But, that’s not what this strategy is about at all.

Successful people are always concerned with producing top-notch results—however, they also find little ways to save time in the process. So, take a page from their book and have a good, hard look at your routine. Are there places where you’re spending a lot of unnecessary time?

Perhaps it’s a document you’re repeatedly drafting. Create a template so you always have the barebones in place. Is it an email you’re always sending? Save a canned response so you don’t have to draft the same message over and over again. Is there a menial task you need to complete daily or weekly? See if there’s a way you can automate it.

These changes seem small. But, if you managed to save yourself 15 minutes each day between Monday and Thursday, that’d be an entire hour by the time Friday rolls around. See? It all adds up.

Cutting a day out of your week might seem like a surefire way to get far less done. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, four-day workweeks have been proven to offer plenty of benefits—including increased productivity, higher levels of engagement, and happier employees.

Studies also show that longer hours don’t always equal more tasks being accomplished. After a certain point, we check out and our productivity either flat lines or takes a total nosedive.

So, even if your office won’t officially implement a compressed week, you can still roll up your sleeves, make the most of Monday through Thursday, and reserve Friday as a more low-key day when you can tackle bigger projects or set yourself up for success next week. After all, there’s no better way to head into the weekend.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-successful-people-finish-all-their-work-by-thursday-stressfree?ref=carousel-slide-5