Category Archives: Conflict

Opening a Can of Worms

  Open (up) a can of worms: to create a situation that will cause trouble or be unpleasant            (idioms.thefreedictionary.com) In my conflict management work, I occasionally hear a senior leader say that addressing a workplace issue (fill in your … Continue reading

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Beyond Civility

  The elections are upon us, and now, more than ever, we need honest communication to move our country, our states, our counties, cities and communities in a positive direction. For the past several months, I’ve been involved in a joint … Continue reading

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Repair and Return

   I’m getting ready to participate in a communications session that addresses the topic of conversational tones. In short, we will ask the question, “How can we navigate difficult conversations where there are divergent views on an issue? How can … Continue reading

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Consider the Process

  I recently admitted to colleagues that I’m becoming quite a “process person.” Translation: I’m paying more attention these days to HOW issues get discussed and HOW decisions are made.  For most of my life I was (and perhaps still am … Continue reading

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Too Skilled to Lose

Lately, I’ve been hearing this conversation: “I know he (or she) is a difficult co-worker. We’ve tried to coach him to be a better team player…But the dilemma is that he has a skill set that we need right now … Continue reading

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Facework

    I appreciate people who have mastered the art of “Facework.” These are your friends, colleagues or family members who are interested in keeping others’ humiliation and embarrassment to a minimum.  If an innocent blunder could result in someone being … Continue reading

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Hot Buttons!

  There are certain issues, conversations – and dare I say it, people – that trigger me. By ‘trigger,’ I mean evoke a strong, emotional, heated and spontaneous response. A hot button is pushed. A tender spot is poked. An unresolved … Continue reading

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The Choice to Apologize

 I was struck by the title of a front page article last week: ‘We caused great suffering and pain’.  This article addressed the 66th anniversary since Japan’s World War II surrender. Sometimes we see in our own behavior relational transgressions.  … Continue reading

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Managers in the Middle

I have just finished reading an article by Accountemps, the world’s largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Their recent survey of 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees, indicates that managers spend nearly … Continue reading

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Trigger Happy

  Recently, I was thinking about how one word or phrase can change the entire tone of a conversation. Despite our good intentions, it’s easy to accidentally be thoughtless with our words.  Below are some common phrases (phrases we all tend … Continue reading

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