5 Principles for Talking Politics with Friends and Family

Aaron Lyons

talking about politics, difficult conversations, difficult discussions

How do you engage in political discussions with those you care about? For many, the answer is “I don’t!” Others engage eagerly in these discussions, but find themselves repeatedly caught in the muck of destructive conflict. There is another way – one that allows for respectful discourse and even strengthened relationships. In 2007, I was invited to participate in a … Read More

How to Talk About the Elephant in the Room

Eric Stutzman

conversation, conflict, leadership, sensitive topic, discussion, conversation, mediation, executive leadership, workplace culture, difficult conversation

I’ve facilitated a fair number of high-stakes conversations over the years and am always struck when organizations ask me to lead a discussion about the elephant in the room. Rather than needing help with a conflict or to identify specific problems, they are simply asking me to start a conversation about a problem they are all aware of but can’t … Read More

How to Bring Reason Back Into Conversations

Trish Harper

conversations, reason, logic, dialogue, conflict, leadership, workplace culture

We often allow our predetermined beliefs to guide how we relate to other people. Look no further than politicians who speak about each other or groups they disagree with, using negative and, at times, highly charged rhetoric. I don’t know about you, but I find some despair and anxiety seeping into my psyche every time I read about, witness, or … Read More

How to Practice Constructive Dialogue

Alison Granger-Brown

dialogue, constructive dialogue, conversation, leadership, open minded, communication

In this time of protests, riots, political divide, and COVID-19 related stress, we are likely to find ourselves having difficult conversations with people who disagree with our views on these global and life-changing events. How can we avoid the pitfalls that take us from open dialogue into dispute? When opening a workshop, I start by saying, “The best learning we … Read More

6 Sources of Conflict at Work

Wendy Loewen

workplace conflict, conflict resolution, leadership, management, workplace culture

I love optical illusions. It’s fascinating to watch an image shift from one thing to another, depending on your perspective. Optical illusions use colour, light, and patterns to mislead our brains into creating an image that does not match the image in front of us. Workplace conflict can sometimes be like an optical illusion, where what we see is not … Read More

How to Handle Conflict in Relationships

Sheri Coburn

FACT: Spending more time in conflict can IMPROVE your personal and professional relationships. Throughout my work as both a family counsellor and business consultant, I have noticed a common theme emerge that can significantly undermine both personal and professional wellness: conflict. Interestingly, conflict itself is generally not the primary presenting issue. Rather, issues arise with the actions or inactions taken … Read More

How to De-escalate Conflict

Wendy Loewen

de-escalation, de-escalate violence, workplace violence, violence threat assessment

How does it feel when you are wrong? What about when you make a poor decision or forget an important detail? Have you ever made an assumption that incorrectly coloured how you saw a person? How did it feel to realize this? I have been asking these questions of my friends, family, and coworkers, and their answers often include words … Read More

2 Ways to Have a Difficult Conversation

Mark Schinkel

difficult conversation, two-point conversation, three-point conversation, listening, speaking, public speaking, workplace culture

For any number of reasons, you might find yourself facing the challenging prospect of having a difficult conversation. Speaking a hard truth to someone or delivering difficult news is never easy. Through my experience as a school board superintendent, I have learned that being prepared and having a strategy is far better than the “just do it” approach. Consider the … Read More

How to Stop the Cycle of Disrespect

Mike Labun

cycle of disrespect, disrespectful behaviour, coworker, conflict, retaliation, negativity, conversation, communication

How do you react when someone is disrespectful towards you at work? It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of disrespect because our natural inclination is to respond aggressively or defensively. This is because human beings tend to mirror each other. But with negative behaviours like disrespect, we often go a step further and escalate the situation. For example: … Read More

High Stakes Civility

Mike Labun

­­­When stakes are high and your performance matters most, you and your team will likely get stressed. But how will you treat each other? Will you all take a deep breath, make sure communication is respectful and straightforward, and motivate each other by using language that acknowledges that you’re all in it together? Or, will you become short with each … Read More