Self-Awareness Workshops

Deal with Workplace Conflict in 6 Steps

Some leaders seem to enjoy workplace conflict and some run screaming from it but both approaches have the same result: They don’t make the situation better.  Savvy leaders understand that conflict is a signal that something important is happening and that they need to pay attention to it.  Conflict is also a great opportunity to bring co-workers together and improve how our workplaces function.  Try these steps the next time you have an issue with a co-worker:

1.  Name the conflict (keep it simple, one sentence or less).

2.  Each of you describe how you see the conflict.

3.  Brainstorm a few ideas to fix the conflict.

4.  Agree and choose one of the ideas from the brainstorm to work on.

5.  Each of you decides what you will work on and by when.

6.  Get an outside person involved if you are still having difficulty working together.

I’ve found that if two people just sit down and agree to talk (respectfully and without shouting) they can resolve even the most complex situations.  It’s wonderful to see two people come to an agreement and figure out a way to resolve a nagging issue; like a weight has been lifted off their back.

Remember that dealing with workplace conflict isn’t a quick fix that happens immediately.  It takes people agreeing to sit down with each other and working together to develop new solutions over time.

Take care,


Leadership Training: Letting Go of Negative Behaviors

Have you ever kept doing something even though you understand it doesn’t work?  Perhaps you’ve kept enabling a negative workplace behavior because you’ve grown used to it and it’s always been there.  This is natural because we tend to be most comfortable with what we know.  The next time you find yourself hanging on to a negative behavior try letting go of it.

The act of deliberately letting go of a negative work behavior and trying something new helps  you consider new perspectives.  Leaders who let go of the behaviors of the past aren’t weighed down by the old way of doing things.  It’s like taking a breath of fresh air when you’ve been stuck in a stuffy room all day.  You can actually deal with your issues instead of just enduring them and believing there’s nothing else you can do.  When you give negative behaviors less weight you’ll find that they have a way of disappearing.

How do you do it?  Replace the old behavior with a new, positive one.  Practice the new behavior over time until it becomes the new way of doing things.  Support yourself and your employees along the way.

What negative behavior will you let go?

Take care,


Leadership Training: The Law of Attraction in Your Workplace

The Law of Attraction deals with the idea that we attract what we put out.  My training clients often ask me what I think about this idea.   My perspective is that, if it helps you create significant positive results in your workplace, then keep doing it.  The measure of whether any approach works for you is its outcome.  If you’re getting the results you want, you’re probably doing something positive.

Attracting success and abundance in the workplace begins with your own thoughts.  You decide where your thoughts take you.  Here are some ideas to help you apply it to your leadership approach

1.  Visualize what you want to achieve.

2.  Visualize one or two steps you can take to achieve your goal.

3.  Acknowledge the things that may block you and agree to put them aside.

4.  Visualize what your workplace will be like once you achieve the goal.

5.  Measure and monitor your progress frequently.

6.  Finish one goal before moving to the next.

7.  Set realistic goals to set yourself up for success.

Attracting great outcomes in your workplace is often a matter of changing behavior patterns.  If you tend to think negative thoughts you might try moving in a more positive direction.  If you’re scared of setting goals you might try working on one or two to get started.

The act of taking action and doing things differently is powerful because it challenges you to shift your perspective and do things differently.  Try doing something different in your workplace starting today and see where it takes you.  What will you start doing to attract success?

Take care,


Use Communication to Reduce Workplace Conflict

Leaders frequently become part of the problem in interpersonal conflicts at work rather than helping things go more smoothly.  This happens because they lose perspective and let the other person draw them into the situation.  Think about these common workplace scenarios and see how it relates to what you do.

1. The other person gets angry and you immediately retaliate and/or defend yourself.

2. The other person gets angry and you ask them to tell you about it and you listen.

Guess which approach is more likely to get better results?  There is a myth that you have to fight for your point of view and deny others theirs but this only perpetuates a workplace communication style that is based on conflict.  If one person wins then the other loses.  I much prefer for each person to win.

One of the best ways to reduce confrontation is to simply listen.  The world is not going to end if you don’t retaliate or fight back.  In reality, you actually connect more with the other person if you just listen to them.  You also benefit from not fighting.

People like to feel valued and listened to and they are much more likely to work with you to resolve problems if they trust you to not trample all over them.  Next time you feel a clash coming on, try listening to the other person without commenting, editorializing or offering your opinion.  By doing this you will be building the foundation for improved communication in the future.

What will you do to reduce conflict in your workplace?

Take care,


Leadership Training: Creating Change in the Present

Many leaders spend so much time thinking about the things they could have done that they forget the power they have to change things in their workplaces at any time.  It’s easy to get stuck in a mode where you replay past events or make up future possibilities but that has a limited effect on the present.

Spending more time consciously working on the present is a positive way to improve your workplace.  If you start today by telling yourself that you will work on something occurring in the present you will suddenly have  the power to change whatever you want.

Try identifying something that you hoped would happen in the past or occur in the future and then re-focus it in the present.  Ask yourself what you can do right now to effect change in your workplace right now.  Taking action in the present helps you take your mind off the things you have no control of and focuses your energy on the things you can change.  What will you start changing?

Take care,