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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

How to Not be a Victim

Establishing justice is important, there is no doubt about that. But in order to change a situation, one has to recognize the dynamics at play. “I feel afraid.” This is what one of my clients, “H” said to me when I was intervening as a conflict management specialist for a work team of 25. H had filed a harassment claim against the team lead, “M”. The Review Board determined the claim was founded and issued a penalty to M, who went out of office for six weeks. M was now returning to the workplace, and the whole team was apprehensive, particularly H. I had been mandated to help restore a...

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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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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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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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