About Bubbly Maths
Bubbly Maths is about making maths fun, engaging and enjoyable, and encouraging children to love learning and to enjoy mathematics. They do this through math shows and fun workshops, using soap bubbles and balloons. It’s great for children aged 3 to 11, in schools, at home and at events such as festivals and fairs.
These events call for team work. One time, Caroline, founder of Bubbly Maths, watched in horror as a misunderstanding between two staff members escalated into conflict and quickly spiraled out of control in a frenzy of emails. Feeling impotent and desperate to end this fury, Caroline called me: ‘Riana, what do I do?’
The first task was to assess the situation. I asked to see the offending emails. Looking at it from different perspectives, it quickly became clear how an innocent misunderstanding morphed into a deliberate affront, a personal attack, hateful name calling and outright rage. I wanted to know what drove these reactions? What were they thinking? Feeling? I mapped out my thoughts, as well as an assessment of their respective states of mind at that stage of the hostilities.
The second task was to update Caroline, explain my thinking and arm her with everything she needed to resolve the situation.
Action and Result
“The response I got back from Riana gave me an analysis of what was going on, a point of view of each of the individuals, and ideas on how to approach them, what to say and how to say it.”
Confronting conflict head on is never easy. Too often leaders and managers shy away from it, or smooth over it. The result is an unresolved issue that continues to fester.
Not Caroline. She rose to the challenge, stepped into leadership and took control.
“When I spoke to each of them, I was able to do so with compassion and insight.”
By the end of the discussions, all was well again. Both staff members understood what had happened and between the three of them, they devised a plan to stop similar misunderstandings from happening again.
“What Riana gave me was so valuable; it probably prevented one of my team from leaving.”