April is workplace conflict awareness month. Unresolved conflicts among teams result in loss of productivity and create barriers to cooperation and collaboration. Conflict resolution skills and training is not just good for peacemaking. It’s a great way to help drive employee retention.
Episode 76: How to Create a Conflict Resolution Workplace Culture with Stephen Hecht
This week on the Workology Podcast I talk with Stephen Hecht. He’s the co-author of Nonflict, the Art of Everyday Peacemaking and is the President and Chief Executive Peacemaker of Million Peacemakers. Stephen walks us through how conflict impacts not just a workplace culture but the individual(s) involved in the conflict as well. He says conflict causes stress. An employee spends 2.5 a day each week dealing with conflict. That translates into 385 million days a year.
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Nonflict is a term he and his co-author created as the opposite of conflict. It’s a simple but logical way of dealing with conflict in the workplace. Eliminating a culture of conflict, starts from the top down. The top down is the most effective. He offers half day workshops for companies as well as training just for business leaders and executives.
Active listening, eye contact and practice listening with head and heart is important before you are getting into the conflict.
Conflict Resolution at Work is Simple
In preparing for my interview with Stephen, I came across an Amazon review of his book that really peaked my interest and seems to sum up the importance of conflict resolution and nonflict.
Nonflict is a fundamental tool for any person who has a relationship with anyone else — as social creatures, I would say that applies to the majority of us. This book lays out basic guidelines that aim to reshape the way we define and perceive differences, seeing them as inherently resolvable in a way that comes with no feelings of loss for either party. Even if we disagree, we need to come from a place of empathy and understand each other’s position before we can come to a resolution that considers and validates the needs of both parties. Sounds intuitive, but Nonflict takes this seemingly common sense platitude and transforms it into a methodical, universally applicable formula for seeking peaceful, mutually satisfactory conclusions with good intent.
I believe the majority of us have good intent and that conflict resolution is something you have to be committed to and are actively working towards. Stephen suggests that practice makes perfect especially through what he calls experiential learning.
The interesting thing about nonflict is that it doesn’t just have a place in the workplace. The philosophies and trainings can be applied in personal as well as professional situations. I think most of us have read or attended a conference session on Crucial Conversations. Nonflict helps break down barriers and focus on building relationships looking at the point of view of the person or persons we are experiencing conflict with.
Connect with Stephen Hecht on LinkedIn.
- Nonflict Book ~ Stephen’s new book
- Million Peacemakers ~ Non-profit Stephen is the CEO of
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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.