Conflict Management Workshops

Conflict Management Videos from Roger Reece

The selection of clips here, from recent Roger Reece Seminars workshops and training programs, focus on conflict management and conflict negotiation. We provide a deep understanding of the fundamental behavioral drivers and interpersonal differences that may underlie disruptive circumstances, and we arm our participants with the tools and skills necessary to navigate the many difficult situations of conflict that any diverse team of personalities give rise to.

For more examples of the training we provide, visit our video channel on Youtube. You'll find many more clips of programs covering a wide range of the topics we specialize in.


How Emotional Reactions Undermine Leadership
We are born without a user's manual to our brains, and we begin forming neural pathways and thinking patterns from the moment of birth, as we struggle to process the sudden rush of stimuli flooding our senses. The coping mechanisms we form at this point are, by definition, childish: not formed by logic, but by trial-and-error response to what seems to work in a given situation. Contrary to most people's assumptions, however, we do not automatically replace these infantile modes of thought with more appropriate, adult responses as we age. Instead, more often than not our brains will continue down well-worn grooves of habitual behavior, and we'll simply pile logic on top of illogic in order to make sense of the world as we see it.

These unconscious emotional reactions are the enemy of leadership, as they sabotage your ability to accurately gauge the situations you're in, and to steer your interactions with other people, in the moment, towards the outcome you would like to see. Your emotions and impulses are, for the most part, deeply-ingrained habits; and in order to lead other people through their emotional hijacks, you must first recognize the reactive impulses in yourself that cripple your ability to be a leader, and begin the practice of replacing these outdated and destructive patterns with better ways of dealing with the world.

Conflict Management, Negotiation & Power
There are four power bases you can draw from: Authority Power, Positional Power, Knowledge Power, and "Personal Power." What many managers do not realize is that of the four, Authority Power (the command given to you by your official rank or title) is the weakest form of conflict management that you have. It is an erosive force, in the sense that it wears down trust and morale throughout entire teams when it is wielded too harshly. The same is true for Positional Power - the strength and influence you carry by virtue of the people you have access to. Misuse or overuse of your strategic position to influential or powerful persons - becoming the "guardian," the "watchdog," the "gatekeeper" - can breed a great deal of resentment.

On the other side of the coin, the power drawn from your Knowledge Base - the skills and expertise you have developed over time, through study and experience - is usually regarded with respect. The knowledge and abilities you have accumulated are usually much appreciated by those who are in need of them - that is, of course, as long as you do not become a "Silo of Information," hoarding or rationing your expertise. But of all your potential sources of power, by far the strongest and most effective - and also most difficult to encapsulate - is the one that speaker and coach Roger Reece describes as "Personal Power." Roger introduces and explains the Personal Power Base in this clip from a 2010 workshop on Conflict Management.

Managers & Conflict Management
When "really nice people" are not very nice: We all want to be nice to the people we work with, or who report to us. But a number of people who consider themselves to be really, really nice are in fact practicing behaviors that do harm to the people they interact with. Inevitably, there are going to be times when confrontation is necessary - situations where standards have to be enforced and corrective action may be required. In these cases, being clear, upfront and direct about problem behaviors and the consequences leading from them is the fairest, the most just and the nicest thing you can do for a person. It is an opportunity for them to understand what is expected of them and excel in that role. When being nice leads to overly lenient supervision, lax or inconsistent consequences, or bad behavior escalating unchecked to the point where an employee is facing termination, "being nice" is just a cover for what it really is: Fear & Avoidance.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior & Conflict
Passive-aggressive people: Could you be one of them? Passive-aggressive people don't get mad, they get even. When conflict triggers an emotional response, the passive-aggressive pattern is for revenge, by some form of sabotage. In conflict management, passive-aggressive behavior can often be the hardest to detect and manage - even in oneself. The fact is, many and perhaps even most people who engage in passive-aggressive patterns may not realize they are doing so in the first place. Passive-aggressive behavior can be easy to dismiss as no behavior at all, since passive-aggressive sabotage so often comes comes through inactivity: maybe choosing not to give extra help where it is needed, or just withholding vital information.

Passive-aggressiveness is not an identity; but it can be a deep pattern of behavior that can go unrecognized. To be a good conflict manager, it is important to be self-aware, in real-time, of the tendency for these habits to reinforce themselves, and to practice the skills to realize, in real-time, more choices for resolving conflict.

Conflict Management from a Leadership Perspective
The mission of the Conflict Manager, in any situation, is rooted in establishing teamwork. The goal of conflict management is not, first and foremost, to find a solution to whatever problem is causing conflict - it is to ensure that every person involved, every side represented, in an issue always feels like they are part of a team, trying to work out a solution, together. Any feelings or signals of hostility, antagonism or defensiveness are indicators that the conversation is moving in the wrong direction, and that it may be time to back up and focus on connecting with the other person.

Conflict is overcome by leadership, and effective leadership is not accomplished by force, but by guiding the other person forward through trust and respect. The effectiveness of your communication is measured by the response that you get, and the ownership position of leadership dictates that you are responsible for the results that you get in working with another person.

Conflict Management: Don't Take it as a Personal Attack
Don't take it personally! If you are practicing confrontation and conflict management, don't take it as a personal attack when coworkers or family members react to your communication in ways that may seem hostile or aggressive. Any number of things can cause a person to react in a negative way. The reaction may even have nothing to do with you - the other person may just have had a bad day. But particularly if you are attempting to manage conflict, you have to realize that you cannot always predict what will trigger defensiveness or affront in someone you are confronting; and that feelings of hurt or offense may cause a person to speak or act in ways that may hurt or offend you.

If you take it personally, you act like a wounded animal: when an animal is attacked, they either run away or they counter-attack. At work or at home, if you are going to effectively manage conflict as a leader, don't join in this behavior, even if the other person is doing so. Conflict Management requires patience and understanding; in situations where stress or negativity has been building, there has to be a period of venting before the work of resolving conflict can be done.


about coaching




Roger Reece Seminars
conflict management workshops
NSA Member