[Advice] On Doing What You’ve Always Done

Intentionality is the watch word in conflict.

If you know how you will respond (rather than react) and you have an understanding of your conflict style (controlling/competing, accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, or compromising) then you can be intentional in how you deal with other people in conflict.

And since conflict is a process of change—even though it feels like a process we’d rather avoid (or define as a disagreement, a fight, or a “difference of opinion”)—we can change out responses and behavior by being intentional.

Supervisors, mangers, and others in positional authority in organizations must do the hard work of deep diving into themselves—and gaining awareness of themselves—before sending employees to training to get awareness.

This is a time consuming proposition that reads like therapy, but in reality is about gaining effectiveness, strengthening ability, and ensuring future success and supervisory outcomes.

But, you do have an alternative choice.

You can always keep intentionally doing what you’ve always done and hope that changes will result.

-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: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] Pivot to a Stalemate from a Checkmate

There’s a bind for supervisors in the workplace, when they act as mediators, inserting themselves into conflicts between their employees, whether they want to insert themselves, or they are compelled to insert themselves.

When one employee won’t move, shift or change their approach to conflicts with their co-workers in any meaningful way and the mediator, acting as the supervisor, that party may try to maneuver the supervisor into a stalemate. This maneuvering could appear in three forms:

  • Game playing the mediation/supervision process through telling the supervisor one story, and then telling the other employees another story.
  • Gossiping by telling the mediation/supervisor nothing at all—or actively avoiding the interaction with the mediator/supervisor (or any other passive aggressive acts)—and then passing around a story about the other party in conflict.
  • Harassing the other party in the conflict and, sometimes harassing (or intimidating) the mediator/supervisor into making a decision favorable to them in resolving the conflict.

Stalemate makes the mediator/supervisor as the third party feel powerless, impotent and feel as if they have no chance to affect change in the outcomes of the conflict process.

But stalemate is really a checkmate—imposed upon the instigating party who won’t move—initiated by the mediator/supervisor, sometimes not consciously and based on the stories that the mediator/supervisor is telling themselves about the conflict process.

Which means the power really lies with the mediator/supervisor and not the party who thinks they have the power, the instigator of the conflict process, and the other party in the process who may be looking to escalate the conflict to satisfy their own motives.

Other mediator/supervisors in the past may have given up their power, to the two parties in conflict before, but that doesn’t mean that the current person has to continue those patterns of behaviors.


-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: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] A Positive No

The moment that you are ready to leave the office, complete a project, take a phone call, or meet a deadline, another person walks up.

This person has other priorities, but finding out what those are is not the thing that you are interested in, but that person makes sure to tell you all about their priorities.

The thing about time management is that managing other people is the unsung, unconsidered hardest thing to do.

Other people have their own priorities, and we are too embarrassed, too distracted, or too disinterested to discover what they are.

This is when the positive no, or the sandwich no, becomes the best way to address the energy vampires (or time sucks) that other people can be sometimes.

It goes something like this:

“Thank you for coming to me with [insert whatever the topic is here]. No, I don’t have time to talk about this right now. But, please come back [name a definitive later time here] and I will talk with you then.”

Then, put that time vampire on the calendar, turn around, and walk away firmly. This last part is important, because many people can’t close the conversation.

When using a positive no—or a sandwich no—remember to always be closing.

-Peace Be With You All-

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