Confronting Constructively: 4 Tips

Josh Hay

In the social sciences, researchers determine the true impact of variable things by changing one variable and keeping everything else the same, then observing the result. I experienced something similar recently when I was confronted by two very real people on the same day. I’ll call them Albert and Ziggy. It was like a science experiment in that the situations … Read More

3 Reasons To Confront Your Co-Worker

Josh Hay

two people confronting each other

If your workplace is like most, people are too avoidant when it comes to conflict – even those who are more direct in their personal lives. That’s what Ralph Kilman, co-author of the world-renowned Thomas-Kilman Conflict Styles Inventory, found in a recent cross-organizational study. Too much avoidance means issues are swept under the carpet, contrary information is not shared, relational … Read More

6 Tips for Dealing with a Difficult Person

Josh Hay

When I started teaching conflict resolution skills many years ago, I believed that simply using those skills would solve most problems. I was naïve. People kept coming to me and saying something like, “Eric, these skills are great, but what do you do about the person who is just DIFFICULT?” After some years of experience, I realized that they were … Read More

5 Actions to Lead Your Group Through Conflict

Josh Hay

You didn’t sign up to be an HR specialist!  Worse, a babysitter!!  Conflict can be the most vexing part of managing groups. A manager recently exclaimed, “This group will be the death of me!  Why can’t they just act like adults?!”  They are adults, though.  And further, they are adults like you and me.  We’ve all been there.  Remember when … Read More

3 Ways to Avoid Conflict and Improve Relationships

Josh Hay

Conflict Resolution on Napkin

“I wonder what’s it like to be married to you…” I turned. The workshop participant was behind me, to the side, looking thoughtful, pensive, and curious. It wasn’t a pick-up, but a pondering. I have taught conflict resolution skills for 20 years and it’s a question I occasionally get asked. While all my training is workplace-related, the application in the … Read More

5 Steps for Effective Conflict Resolution

Josh Hay

Conflict is opportunity.  Although many of us find conflict stressful, conflict has many benefits. As a mediator, I have witnessed the strong emotions produced by conflict.  I have also seen how conflict dealt with in a healthy way can enhance our problem-solving capabilities, increase productive communication, promote self-awareness and build relationships.  When we avoid conflict or become confrontational or aggressive, … Read More

5 Principles for Talking Politics with Friends and Family

Josh Hay

  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 … Read More

The Difficult Person: 4 More Tools to Get Unstuck

Josh Hay

What do you do when someone seems to think you are the problem in a situation of conflict? I received the following excellent question in response to my last blog, 6 Tips to Deal with a Difficult Person: Dear Eric, As I strive to integrate the position you outlined in your article (which I’ve been trying to do for some … Read More

“It’s not you, it’s me” – The Wisdom of a Break-Up Adage

Josh Hay

Some of our most difficult and frustrating relationships happen in the workplace. Inevitable really, considering we spend 8 to 12 hours a day with people who we possibly didn’t choose, potentially have nothing more in common with than a shared workspace and who ultimately have their own ideas and agendas about how best to navigate their working life. In other … Read More

Missed Opportunity – Failing to See the Other Person’s Interests

Josh Hay

The following is a true story told to me by a workshop participant. It is shared with permission but modified to protect the identities of the persons involved. The person who told it to me is “Caleb” in the story. Alvin Zemlock sat behind his desk, and Caleb faced him. The Room was tense. Alvin was the founder and CEO … Read More