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Avoiding Conflict Gives New Meaning to the Adage “Silence is Golden” August 1, 2014

The Cost of Avoiding Conflict is Very High Research shows that employees who avoid conflict rather than deal with it cost organizations thousands of dollars. In 2010, Crucial Conversations author, Joseph Grenney, conducted a study of more than 600 people and found, "... that a shocking 8 percent of employees estimate their avoidance of conflict costs their organization more than $10,000. And, one in 20 employees estimate that over the course of a drawn-out silent conflict, they waste ..... read more

Handling a Conflict Situation: Your Client vs. You! July 15, 2014

Most people hear the word conflict and immediately think of a shouting match or a fight. Not so! Conflict is really any difference of opinion between you and another person. When you want to go to an Italian restaurant and your spouse prefers a burger joint, that's a conflict. According to the researchers who developed the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Instrument™ (TKCI), when you find yourself in a conflict situation, you typically have one or two go-to styles that determine how you will deal ..... read more

Conversational Intelligence 101-Start with the End in Mind March 31, 2014

Spoiler Alert! Skip to third paragraph if you have not seen the March 23, 2014 episode of The Good Wife !   Killing off a main character in a television series is a huge decision for the writers of the show. On a recent episode of The Good Wife , attorney Will Gardner, a central character, was shot and killed by a deranged client. Fans were stunned, and some expressed outraged at the tragic turn of events. They knew ..... read more

Conversational Intelligence 101 – Better to End a Quarrel than to Let It Fester! March 25, 2014

On most Sunday evenings at 9 PM, you will find me glued to my TV watching "Downton Abbey" a drama-series set in early 20 th century, in high-brow England.  As an undying fan of the show, I am captivated by the elegance of the period and the feisty cast of "upstairs and downstairs" characters, which includes the aristocratic Grantham family and their (mostly) devoted slate of servants. Among the nobles are two matriarchs, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, and Isobel ..... read more

Conversational Intelligence 101: Own and Hone Your Listening Skills February 13, 2014

What would your managers, direct r eports, or peers say about your listening skills? Would they say you are an active listener who is present and focused, understands what they are saying, and can read between the lines? Or, would they say you are like Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel in the Beetle Bailey® comic strip? Sarge doesn't believe his men have anything worthwhile to say, so why should he listen? He believes he is the one who is in charge! He gives the orders and they better ..... read more

Can't We Just Cut to the Chase Without the Fluff? August 23, 2012

At a recent workshop, we introduced two communication tools: The Breakthru Conversations™ model and the Creating WE Trust Gauge™.  Referencing both tools, we shared with the attendees our step-by-step process for having a Breakthru Conversation while measuring the level of trust before, during, and after the conversation. We developed this process with the understanding that most people will avoid having a difficult conversation (especially when the stakes are really high) ..... read more

Status Equals Power ... or Does It? March 26, 2011

If you grow up believing that more is better; and you get more when when you earn more; and you earn more when you're the boss, then it's hard to understand when you get to be the boss, that you don't have to act like one! Take it from Gregory Goose, who is a fictional character invented by our colleague Judith E. Glaser . Gregory is like any other young goose who was taught that in order to be a leader you have to demonstrate power over the other geese by flapping your wings, strutting ..... read more

Team Building for Two March 24, 2011

We are all familiar with the story about the cobbler who had no shoes because he was too busy cobbling for everyone else, right? Well, we have a new slant on that fable ... as professional coaches who facilitate team building sessions and help other teams build trust and communicate better, Rhonda and I have not participated in a team building exercise in quite a while. That is until the other day when we went to South Carolina to check out a race track as a venue for our team building ..... read more

What Happens When Trust is Missing in Your Workplace February 9, 2011

Sadly, many organizations operate in a perpetual state of distrust. Why? For many reasons, but we’ve narrowed the list to these key themes:   ·          Fear Reigns Supreme ·          Status is Power ·          Uncertainty Prevails ·          Winning ..... read more