Blue Monday; the most depressing day of the year! What can you do to beat the Monday Blues? By Dionne Dury

January 16th, 2019

No, we’re not referring to the 80’s pop song by New Order! Blue Monday occurs on the third Monday of January; it is considered to be the most depressing day of the year as it follows all of the festive cheer and frivolity of Christmas and the bills will now be starting to come in! In 2019, that day will be Monday, 21 January.

It is no secret that employee well-being and employee happiness is linked with increased productivity and employee engagement. Science also tells us that stress, unhappiness and worry can increase tensions and conflict. Stress triggers our “flight or fight” response and we are then unable to think as clearly or rationally. This is something that we, as conflict resolution experts, see regularly and we use a number of skills and techniques to focus on enabling people to move out of a stressed state so that they can listen more effectively, think more creatively and move away from the fixed positions that people take up in conflict.

In honour of Blue Monday, we thought we would share some of the skills and techniques that we use as conflict resolution experts.

1. Creating Calm – we use a number of techniques to create calm, including establishing trust and rapport.
2. Remaining neutral – keeping an open mind and not jumping to conclusions will help to demonstrate neutrality.
3. Deep listening – if individuals feel that they have been listened to and understood this is very powerful in establishing the right environment for a constructive conversation.
4. Choose your words – Use of appropriate and neutral language and avoidance of negative words/criticism will also be of real benefit.
5. Watch your body language – what we communicate non-verbally will have an impact so be aware of your own body language as well as the other persons.

We hope you get through Blue Monday without too much difficulty; just remember that Fizzy Friday is only four days away!

For further conflict skills guidance we have:-
• In-house training courses on a range of conflict resolution skills (see here for further details)
• A free bite size taster session “Words Matter” on 14th March 2019 (details here).

To discuss any training requirements please contact us on 07808 829545/01446 760993 (Wales) 07766562730/0117 3739192 (England) or email us at [email protected]

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Using the neutral assessment as a tool to really understand the issues in particular areas of our organisation has been really powerful.  Non- judgmental and transparent this approach allowed us to work with our staff to address concerns, celebrate what was working and move forward in a structured way.  Listening and acting on the results have made a huge difference and impacted on performance, retention and engagement levels.

Angela Lewis, Director of People Transformation, Companies House | Director of People Transformation

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