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What Challenging Workplace Behavior Are You Dealing with in the New Year?

For the past year, Conflict Connections and MH Mediate have been developing a set of resources to help people address the ten toughest behaviors at work – everything from gossip to bullying, harassment, and hostile work environments.  Our Challenging Workplace Behavior Summit featured 10 top global experts brought together over 250 conflict and human resources practitioners and yielded the definitive toolkit for challenging behaviors at work.


All resources are designed to be extremely actionable – for each behavior we hosted two 15-20 minute programs, the first explaining the behavior and the second sharing strategies and solutions.  For each behavior we also put together a one-page summary (definition, impact, solutions, key quote), a full set of program notes, and a take-away tool.  
The take-away tools include:

  • Engaging Passive Aggression Without Losing Your Cool (Tip sheet)
  • Diffusing Verbal Attacks (Checklist)
  • Preventing Hostile Work Environments (Checklist)
  • Escaping and Reframing Workplace Gossip (Talking Points)
  • Overcoming Time-Sucking Interruptions (Checklist)
  • Responding to Gender-Based Violence (Tip sheet)
  • Preventing and Overcoming Workplace Bullying (Tip sheet)
  • Stopping and Balancing Criticism (Talking Points)
  • Responding to Workplace Incivility (Checklist)
  • 5 Steps to a Deliberate, Non-Impulsive Reaction (Infographic Framework)

Because we value Conflict Connections subscribers,we’re offering a discounted rate for the All Access Pass to these programs.  Instead of paying $297, if you use coupon “NewYearSpecial” you can pay just  $149 – that’s 50% off!  Discount ends on Wednesday, January 9th.


Visit https://www.workbehavior.us/register/all-access-pass/?coupon=NewYearSpecial to go directly to the checkout page with the coupon already applied.  You will be able to create an account, pay by PayPal (use any major credit card, no account required), and get immediate access to the All Access Pass content.

Take a look at our 10 behaviors and experts below:


Workplace Incivility

Sharone Bar-David, workplace incivility expert and the author of Trust Your Canary: Every Leader’s Guide to Taming Workplace Incivility, defines incivility at work and shares frameworks for managing these situations.


Passive Aggression

Signe Whitson, trainer and author of The Angry Smile: The New Psychological Study of Passive-Aggressive Behavior, introduces passive aggressive behaviors in the workplace and teaches techniques for overcoming them.


Workplace Bullying

Catherine Mattice Zundel, a founder of the National Workplace Bullying Coalition and the author of BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, explains what constitutes bullying at work and offers steps for victims, bystanders, and managers.


Non-Stop Criticism

Krister Ungerboeck, CEO Coach and former CEO of a global tech company, explains when criticism becomes a problem and shares powerful solutions.


Verbal Attacks

Luke Archer, the founder of Verbal Akido, defines verbal attacks and teaches akido-inspired tactics for diffusing them.


Hostile Work Environments

Rodney Klein, Training Manager at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), clarifies the legal definition of hostile work environments and shares ways to both prevent and respond to them.


Gender-Based Violence

Sheerine Alemzadeh, co-founder of the Coalition Against Workplace Sexual Violence and co-founder of Healing to Action, explains gender-based violence and suggests ways to proactively address it.


Workplace Gossip

Peter Vajda, writer for Management Issues and coach at True North Partnering, defines workplace gossip and offers strategies to manage it.


Time-Sucking Interruptions

Helene Segura, author of The Inefficiency Assassin, outlines different kinds of time-sucking interruptions that reduce productivity at work and shares solutions to overcome them.


Impulsive Reactions

Dan Berstein, developer of MH Mediate’s Ready for Anything framework for addressing challenging behaviors, explains why we sometimes mistakenly act on gut feelings and how we can plan ahead instead.

Where do I go to purchase the All Access Pass?
The pass normally costs $297 but Conflict Connections subscribers can get a 50% discount, $148 off, if they use the coupon “NewYearSpecial” and purchase by Wednesday, January 9th.  Visit https://www.workbehavior.us/register/all-access-pass/?coupon=NewYearSpecial to go directly to the checkout page with the coupon already applied.  You will be able to create an account, pay by PayPal (use any major credit card, no account required), and get immediate access to the All Access Pass content.  

If you’d like to read a bit more about the summit and experts, visit www.workbehavior.us – remember you’ll need to apply the NewYearSpecial coupon yourself to get the discount unless you use the longer direct link above.

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Challenging Workplace Behavior Toolkit

Before Thanksgiving we launched the Challenging Workplace Behavior Summit. Over 250 professionals participated to learn from our 10 top global experts, resulting in a complete toolkit for the ten toughest behaviors at work:

  • Workplace Incivility
  • Passive Aggression
  • Workplace Bullying
  • Non-Stop Criticism
  • Verbal Attacks
  • Hostile Work Environments
  • Gender-Based Violence including Sexual Harassment
  • Workplace Gossip
  • Time-Sucking Interruptions
  • Impulsive Reactions

What tools are included in the Summit Toolkit?

Each behavior includes two 15-20 minute video interview programs, the first focused on understanding it and the second focused on strategies to address it.  We also provide program notes (edited transcripts), behavior summaries (one-page quick-reference guides defining each behavior, explaining its impact, summarizing solutions, and including a key quote from the program), actionable take-away tools, and bonus items.
After accessing these resources, participants can:

  • Understand the definitions, signs, and impact of challenging behaviors at work
  • Be Equipped with tools to manage and respond to the ten toughest behaviors at work
  • Feel Empowered in the face of challenging behaviors
  • Access Quick References to review summaries of the behaviors

How can I access the Summit Toolkit?

All toolkit items are available with the purchase of a single All Access Pass that allows an individual user to access them on-demand whenever they’d like for an entire year.  We’re giving Conflict Connections subscribers a 50% discount ending Wednesday, January 9th.  Scroll to the bottom of this e-mail to get the coupon, or keep reading to see what people are saying about the programs and the All Access Pass!
What are people saying about the Individual Behavior Programs?

  • “This provided great insight as well as tools to equip me as a manager  This was very helpful, especially with a specific step-wise process for addressing passive aggressive behavior at work.”
    (Passive Aggression)
  • “I will be using the suggestion to offer ‘two minutes right now, or ten minutes in an hour’ right away!” 
    (Time-Sucking Interruptions)
  • Excellent discussion. Great infographic and very useful examples discussed during the presentation. Thanks.”
    (Impulsive Reactions)
  • This was excellent. Such a pervasive problem and the presenter provided great examples of strategies to address the issue.”
    (Workplace Gossip)
  • “This was a great topic…had lots of good info about the differences between ‘illegal’ hostile environment vs. toxic and/or destructive work environment, ‘the gateway drug.'”
    (Hostile Work Environments)
  • Simple and effective technique for managing verbal attacks. Nice three-step approach. Explained well.”
    (Verbal Attacks)
  • “Great speaker, great topic. Essential tools provided for changing negative behaviors and providing positive feedback.”
    (Non-Stop Criticism)
  • “Very affirming to hear of the need to address incivility even if it is being experienced by a ‘velcro’ personality. Critical for hr/admin to understand that behaviors will escalate if not addressed.”(Workplace Incivility)
  • “All three programs I tried today were really helpful. Thank you!” 
    (Workplace Incivility, Passive Aggression, and Workplace Bullying)

What are people saying about the Toolkit as a whole?

  • “Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed and learned from the summit programs.  I thought the format was great, with a sensitive moderator bringing out the nuggets of wisdom provided by the insightful and informative speakers. I also appreciated how you broke the presentations into two parts, one delineating the ‘issue’ and one focused on strategies to address it.  I will continue to listen and learn.”
  • “I’m just reading through the materials now…they are very helpful and I’m enjoying the format of the material. Well done! “
  • “The resources are great…thanks so much!”
  • “The videos are very informative, and have already introduced quite a number of ideas and insights I had not considered previously.”

Where do I go to purchase the All Access Pass?
The pass normally costs $297 but Conflict Connections subscribers can get a 50% discount, $148 off, if they use the coupon “NewYearSpecial” and purchase by Wednesday, January 9th.  Visit https://www.workbehavior.us/register/all-access-pass/?coupon=NewYearSpecial to go directly to the checkout page with the coupon already applied.  You will be able to create an account, pay by PayPal (use any major credit card, no account required), and get immediate access to the All Access Pass content.  If you’d like to read a bit more about the summit and experts, visit www.workbehavior.us – remember you’ll need to apply the NewYearSpecial coupon yourself to get the discount unless you use the longer direct link above.

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Recognizing the Signs of a Conflict Storm

HurricaneBeulah1967I grew up on the South Texas – Mexico border off the Gulf of Mexico. We were all too familiar with hurricanes. Hurricane Beulah, a slow-moving, Category 5 storm was one of the largest, most powerful and damaging to hit the Rio Grande Valley in 1967. It was my first hurricane experience.

At that time, television stations distributed hurricane tracking maps which my grandmother used to mark the latitude and longitude coordinates. This information helped us to prepare our home to reduce property damage and to find the safest place in the home while weathering the storm. Meanwhile, others chose to do nothing to prepare for the storm for various reasons. They didn’t feel the storm would hit the area. Others dismissed the seriousness of what they heard on the radio or just simply ignored the information.

Meteorologists play a significant role in helping the public understand what to watch and prepare for when storms develop. They are experts in tracking storms studying weather patterns and conditions and predicting potential danger.

As a conflict management expert, I work with individuals, leaders, and teams to recognize the signs and signals from people’s non-verbal communication as well as the words they use. I look for patterns in their workplace environment which contribute to a brewing storm. Most of us can recognize these same signals, but many of us ignore or dismiss entirely the significance and potential damage from misunderstandings that grow to disagreements. These disagreements can quickly escalate to conflict storms with the emotional intensity of Mother Nature’s wrath.

Learning how to recognize and acknowledge conflict takes courage and confidence for most people. It also requires one to hone their observation and listening skills. Here are some initial steps to consider when practicing these skills. The goal is to detect these signs earlier.

  • Look for non-verbal communication such as someone’s facial expressions or body language that says to you “I’m not happy” or “I’m uncomfortable.”
  • Listen for the emotion in the person’s voice. If someone says “I’m fine” with an emotional tone indicating nervousness, annoyance, or frustration, then they are NOT fine.
  • Mentally note or acknowledge internally that something is amiss.
  • Communicate what you see and hear to the dissatisfied individual. For example, “I noticed that you said you were fine, but I sense that you might be annoyed. Would you like to talk about it?”

By paying attention to the early signs of conflict, you become more aware of a potentially slow-growing storm. Watch! Listen! If you continue to hear or see dissatisfaction or emotions intensify, then the situation warrants a verbal acknowledgment and an opportunity to hear what is beneath the surface.

For more tips on diminishing destruction, read Stop the Dreaded Drama: 55 Tips for Ending Destructive Conflict.

Pattie Porter, LCSW

Conflict Management Expert

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Take Five! – How Adults Can Benefit from a Time Out

 

Clock

A time-out according to Wikipedia, “Is a form of behavioral modification that involves temporarily separating a person from an environment where unacceptable behavior has occurred.” It is a disciplining technique we associate with children. The logic behind the time-out method is that if you remove the child from a fun surrounding when they do something wrong, then it will eliminate that behavior.

Although this is a popular discipline method with children, it is also one that adults can and should use as well. I am not ashamed to admit that my husband Bernard has successfully used this technique on me, whether he is aware of it or not.

Before I explain how he did this, I must first clarify why it was necessary. My preset response when in conflict is to fight. By this I mean, I won’t listen, I get defensive, I make demands, I speak in absolutes, and lastly, the worst, in my opinion, I yell. Many times when my emotions are running high, I don’t even realize my voice has gone up two octaves. Although I have made numerous changes in how I engage in conflict, I feel I will always be a work in progress. It is not simple to make modifications to our behavior without mindfulness, perseverance, and I believe the help of others. Which brings me back to my husband, Bernard and how he assisted in correcting my conflict behavior.

We got into a heated conflict some months back. I was yelling, and Bernard asked me to stop. I responded how I always did when he said this to me, “I am not yelling.” Finally, Bernard had reached his tolerance limit and told me that we were having a verbal time-out for five minutes. I began to protest, but he held up his hand implying he would not be continuing unless I stop speaking for five minutes. So I sat in silence, at first I was annoyed by this pause.

It felt like a break and taking a break from conflict always felt counter-intuitive to me. While I know it can be helpful for you to calm down and be more productive when you come back to it, I still felt like it thwarted the momentum of the discussion. Usually, one person initiates the break, and it is that person who seems to hold power as to when the conversation recommences. Being as I am impatient I never liked conflicts to linger, and I found when breaks were initiated it prolonged a resolution.

As I continued to sit in silence, I noticed that I had calm down. When Bernard spoke after the five minutes, he said, ” Okay, I am willing to listen to you if you speak calmly, if you start yelling I’m initiating another time-out.” I felt irritated that he spoke to me like a kid, but in hindsight, my yelling did mirror a temper-tantrum thrown by a child. Now months later, I can acknowledge that his insistence on a five-minute time-out when I would start yelling (this occurred several more times) is what led to the minimizing of that behavior. I now will catch and correct myself before he even has an opportunity to say something.

If you are like me, you are not a fan of time-outs when in a fight. A break meaning you leave the room or house, go for a drive or a walk, or do something else for a while and then come back to the conversation after some time has passed. Try taking a five-minute time-out instead. It removes the fear that the conflict will go unaddressed or that you won’t revisit it later. While also giving you a moment to calm yourself down.

Just like with children, a time-out can be beneficial for addressing and even eliminating poor behavior and assist you in becoming a better you in conflict.

Abigail R.C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Guest Blogger

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Listening Past The Judgments: Learning How To Communicate Compassionately

Posted on Sep 29 2017 under Blog Posts

Compassion

Quick Tips:

  1. Don’t react or respond to an angry person with
  2. Be empathetic with others in conversation and be empathetic with yourself.
  3. Go into conflict with a compassionate mind and heart and a goal to connect with the other person.

 

 

 

How do you have compassionate, non-violent communication?

  1. Observe the situation from a third party perspective. Imagine you are video recording the conflict, take note of what is said and what is done. It is important when doing this that you leave out your interpretation of what occurred and any judgments you might have. Reverend Phil Schulman explained that as a society we tend to listen with judgment naturally, but we must “learn to listen through those judgments” to communicate compassionately.

 

  1. Be mindful of the emotions you are feeling. Emotions are always present in conflict; it is necessary to acknowledge them and name them to begin addressing them. Phil Schulman suggests you avoid saying, “I feel that…,” “I feel as if…” or using “I feel” as a pronoun because you will be expressing a thought or interpretation and not an emotion.

 

  1. Ask yourself what do I need? What does the other person need? Identifying what both you and the other party needs is how you will form a connection and be able to move forward. When you can reach a place where you can link with the other person a shift will occur where solutions can then be generated productively.

 

  1. Request for something to fulfill a need but don’t demand. Once you recognize the needs for yourself and the other party, you can then request something that will contribute to fulfilling that value.

Your Assignment:

In our interview with Reverend Phil Schulman on The Texas Conflict Coach® podcast, Reverend Phil suggested an assignment that can assist you in having a compassionate conversation:

  • Make a list of all the qualities (values and needs) you would like in a relationship.
  • Think of something that someone said or did that made your life wonderful. Notice the values or needs from your list that were satisfied or roused during that moment.
  • Once you have done this write out this formula and fill in the blanks with what is in parenthesis:

When I remember the way you did (Fill in what they said or did), I feel (The emotion that was roused) because I so value (Fill in what you value or need). Would you be willing to (Make a request that will help you achieve fulfillment of that value or need)?

To learn more about this topic, listen to the entire episode Compassionate Conversations.

Abigail R.C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Guest Blogger

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The Absolute Habit: Eliminating These Words From Your Conflict Communication

information-boards-105196_1920Over the years, I mediated hundreds of cases and coached executives and business owners on how to address and break ongoing conflict behavior patterns.  A typical communication mode is the overuse of words such as always, never, should, right, wrong, truth or lie. These absolute terms when habitually used sustain and escalate the conversation. Here is an example.

Sue yells, “You always do that! You should know better than to lie to me. It is simply wrong to hide the fact that you didn’t file the critical reports on time. And now, we will incur a stiff financial penalty.”

Robert defensively states “I didn’t lie. The report was filed on time. You should never make assumptions. If you had just asked, you would have learned the truth. I requested for an extension of the deadline. The report was filed based on this new time frame. Once again, I am right, and you are wrong.”

Sue goes on the attack, and expectedly, Robert defends himself. Using absolute terms gives little room for the conversation to maneuver. Everything is black and white and represents only one perspective. We shut down a conversation instead of opening it up for further clarity. This type of exchange also causes damage and instills distrust in the working relationship. Here is how Sue might have improved her communication to prevent or de-escalate the conversation.

“Robert, I am very upset with you. I just found out that the report was filed after the deadline. In our last conversation, I thought we both understood how critical it was to file on time, so we would not incur a stiff financial penalty. I need you to be honest with me. What happened?” Sue said with exasperation.

Robert remained calm. “Sue, honestly, we are both correct. I fully understood the criticalness of filing the report on time. In fact, I asked for and received an extension on the deadline so that we could check our work for accuracy. I successfully filed the report before the new time limit. We are not going to incur a penalty.”

You can feel the difference between the tone and the delivery. If you are using this type of language in your disputes, be aware of how the other person receives your message and reacts. Here are ideas for how you might change this ineffective and damaging habit.

  • Ask a trusted friend or colleague to observe and listen for the absolute terms you frequently use.
  • Invite them to give you feedback either in the moment or shortly after that.
  • Identify words in advance to substitute the absolute terms such as “sometimes,” “mostly,” or “on a rare occasion.”
  • Self-monitor your phrases and observe how the other person reacts when you communicate. Then, adjust your tone, delivery, and phrase choices.

Keep in mind these words such as never and always have an appropriate place and time to be used. When used strategically, they educate and inform what action or behavior to refrain or to do.

Pattie Porter, LCSW

Conflict Management Expert

 

 

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