NetSpeed Learning Solutions July 2019
Managing Conflict in the
Age of Polarization
During the Fall of 2018, with everything that was happening in the United States as two polarized political parties battled over a Supreme Court nomination, how could I avoid thinking about conflict? I read articles in my Facebook stream and then check out the comments as people sling angry attacks at each other, name call, and present their opinions as fact. I can't help but conclude that most people are not skilled at handling disagreements, and we certainly don't appear to have strong role models in many of our political leaders and representatives.

Organizations thrive when people communicate openly and honestly. When conflict arises in our workplaces, we expect our staff to work it out and come to agreement. We know that conflict reduces productivity and stifles innovation. We know that taking polarized positions in the workplace blocks effective collaboration. Focused on mutual goals, employees can and should be able to talk through their differences to arrive at shared solutions.

There are four common communication errors that people often use when they are not getting their own way. (Sadly, you can see all four on display in our public institutions these days.) These tactics, when used in the workplace, usually lead to chronic conflict: 
  • Manipulating (attempting to influence someone's behavior or attitude through deception or secrecy)
  • Whining (complaining without seeking to improve the situation)
  • Attacking (repeatedly expressing anger and frustration in the form of inappropriate personal criticism)
  • Bullying (making unreasonable demands and threats that exceed appropriate consequences)
Are you ready to help your managers and employees give up these dysfunctional patterns? Take a few minutes to complete the About You questionnaire  at our website. These results will help you evaluate your own behavior. Then plan to attend our next webinar to learn about our interactive, experiential training program, Managing Workplace Conflict .
To learn how organizations like yours are developing their people to communicate openly and honestly, join us for our next complimentary webinar Strategies to Reduce Conflict in the Virtual Workplace on Wednesday, July 17, 1:00 pm ET/ 10:00 am PT.
Cynthia Clay signature
Cynthia Clay
Virtual Trainer Tips:
You Make a Difference!
A couple of years ago I spoke at the Training Industry Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. While I was standing in the Exhibit Hall, a woman ran up to me and gave me a big hug. She exclaimed, "You probably don't remember me, but you made a huge difference in my life about two years ago. I called you and told you that we had been given the directive to transition to virtual training delivery but we had been given no budget. For 45 minutes I asked you questions and you told me everything you would do if you were in my shoes. I wrote it all down and I did everything you suggested! We have an amazing virtual training program now and I've been promoted!" Then spotting her boss, she grabbed her by the arm and said, "I want to introduce you to Cynthia Clay. This is the woman who made it all possible for us to transition to virtual learning."

My ego was thoroughly fluffed and buffed after that encounter. And I'm grateful that she took the time to tell me about my impact. What a gift that was! 

So my questions for you today:
  1. Can you recall a time when you made a positive impact on the life of someone you trained? Take a moment and acknowledge yourself for your contribution.
  2. Is there someone in your life who has made a positive impact on YOU? Have you acknowledged them for their impact? If not, take a few minutes to say "Thank you - you made a difference in my life!"
One Final Thought

Ask Cynthia
The New
Great Webinars
is Launched!
The revised and updated Great Webinars is now available for purchase at Amazon. It's hard to imagine that it has been nine years since I first wrote this book. In the latest version, I've updated some of the key points to better reflect improvements in web conference technology. We've also replaced all of the graphic images with more current examples. And, most exciting to me, I've written a new chapter on the cognitive principles that make for great virtual training.
If you want to support the virtual trainers in your organization, consider buying multiple copies of Great Webinars. For single copies, buy it directly from Amazon. For 20 or more copies, contact us directly for a volume discount.
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