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A helpful resource for creative conflict solutions

Welcome to Our Blog A Helpful Resource For creative conflict solutions

Productive Conflict Publications

Articles Published on Medium and in partnership with Human Systems Dynamics Institute

Everyone Can Be a Leader

Everyone can be a leader. From the boardroom to the backyard, leadership is in your reach. Regardless of whether or not you have a formal leadership role, you can take action and set conditions for those around you to be successful. Here is how: 1) recognize the leadership opportunities available to you each day, 2) use your ability to influence and take action, and 3) find the tools and tips needed to lead even when the situation is complex. Opportunities to lead are everywhere There are myriad of leadership opportunities in everyday life. For example, taking action in your community to...

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Are You Dealing With a Problem or a Pattern?

Dealing with a performance issue is a bit like dealing with a hip injury: it can feel like a real pain in the gluteus maximus. It can also change your perspective on managing people, particularly when you ask the question, “Am I dealing with a problem or a pattern?” One of my clients — let’s call him Bob — met with me to talk about a performance problem he faced. He called it a “problem employee.” This employee was behind on work assignments, increasingly absent, and causing frustration within the team. To aggravate the issue, this situation was not new. Bob had been dealing with it for over...

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How to Deal With Anger

Whenever I talk about my work with someone, they eventually ask me for tips on how to deal with a difficult person. Often the difficulty arises when they, or the other, lose their temper. I find this to be a very common and important question both in the workplace and in our homes. We all get angry, and we all deal with the anger of others. It is life. It is human. A common reaction is to deal with anger by attacking the other or defending our position from them. This is an automatic response when we feel threatened. What if we could experience the anger of others without feeling a threat? I...

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Why We Hate Others

Working in conflict resolution, I get to hear a lot of stories about why some individual or group is worthy of being hated. Without a doubt, these stories are often bolstered by pulse-raising examples with the potential to provoke even the most skilled facilitative mediators into an evaluative stance. At the same time, beyond these stories lay patterns, many of which shed light on the dynamics of why we hate. In my observations, there are three main reasons we hate others. Reason #1: We seek a specific and identifiable outlet for our generalized feelings of anger. Contemporary...

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Diversity is Uncertainty, Deal With It

By Mary Nations and Jennifer Jones-Patulli Many Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives focus on bringing certainty to the important and sometimes volatile world of workplace relationships. They do this by drawing on affirmative action, sensitivity and bias awareness training, and updating codes of conduct. These are among many important efforts that address real structural needs for change. However, DEI initiatives that rely solely on structural change are missing a crucial element: relational change. We see this need for relational change when individuals in the workplace...

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