[ICYMI] Organizational Climate Change – Part 2

Anthropogenic is a big word that basically means, “the fault of human beings.”

When we look at organizations built by human beings, from families to governments, there are a lot areas where anthropogenic issues combine to create a negative, toxic conflict climate.

And since conflict is a process that never really ends, there are only two kinds of environments that it can happen in, nurturing or harmful.

We all know what a harmful environment looks like, but a supportive, cooperative environment, where conflicts can happen and not leave traumatic scars that carry over into other aspects of our lives—well that’s the Holy Grail isn’t it?

Anthropogenic conflict climate change starts with disrupting the internal focus around an ancient resource that many people lust for deep in their hearts, but no one knows how to define.

Innovations around power tend to focus on redistributing the detritus that arises from the resource—such as wealth, social control or political influence—without ever really addressing the power itself.

There’s gotta be a better way…

Originally published on January 27, 2015.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!

[ICYMI] Organizational Climate Change – Part 1

The presence of climate change is real. And the climate is heating up the planet.

Everywhere on earth there are objects expelling hot air, and other gases, that serve to create a harmful climate.

And the climate that’s being created is the opposite of creative, nurturing and balanced.

Changing the climate of the planet is hard, but changing the conflict climate of an organization, filled with people with their own ideas, has to be focused on disrupting four areas:

  • Power abuse and threats
  • Unhealthy competition
  • Endemic distrust
  • Defensive behaviors

And the conflict climate where the psychological atmosphere is balanced in favor of these four areas (rather than in another direction) is bound to experience negative change.

This is particularly true when the conflict management tools used regularly in an organization, are focused in areas that support power, competition, distrust, and defensiveness, such as litigation and policy regulation.

This is also true when the conflict continuum is focused on escalation, and continuing comfortable levels of dysfunction, without seeking to break apart the underlying psychological processes.

Global climate change didn’t happen in a vacuum, and neither does changing the conflict climate of an organization.

Originally published on January 26, 2015.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!

Organizational Climate Change – Part 3

There are veiled threats, open threats, unspoken threats and curbed threats.


Threats come about when people are frustrated, feel as though they are powerless, or when they know that they have the power.

Power, of course, is influence and control of events. But the weird thing about power is that it works two ways, kind of like nuclear forces. There is strong power and weak power.

Strong power controls resources, affects goal achievement and creates dependency.

Weak power releases resources, impacts goal achievement and creates independence.

The presence of strong power creates consequences, as does the presence of weak power.

Threats link power to outcomes that are perceived as negative based upon the perception of the receiver of the threat, not the sender of the threat.

The receiver mistakenly believes that they are rendered powerless by the threat. And in a harmful conflict environment, more disputes arise when a receiver believes that they have no agency or autonomy.

When was the last time you felt the strength of weak power in your organization?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] Active Listening as Post Modern Art

Paintings, music, stories, and speeches used to be considered artistic pursuits; but, in a world consumed with art as entertainment and media, listening carefully becomes an artistic effort on its own.

In a networking situation, the artistic dance to truly beginning to connect with another person, involves actively listening.

Words are like brushes and the canvas is the networking event. But the person at the event is the artist.

And in a world of shortened attention spans, artistic practice has to filter into everybody’s life, not just the vaunted few who have a TED Talk, or make a movie, or cut a “hit” record, or paint an image in a museum.

Our advice to you: Listen carefully.