November 1, 2022

228: Keep Calm and Address Conflicts with Hesha Abrams

In my years of working with managers, one of most frequent questions I get is this: How do I deal with conflict in my team? This dilemma can be approached from two perspectives. First, there are practices a team can adopt to help limit the number of conflicts that arise. Second, there are approaches a team can use to dissolve conflict quickly and effectively. Used together, these techniques can help any team become more cohesive and productive.

Today’s guest is Hesha Abrams. With over 30 years of experience solving conflict and difficult problems, Hesha comes to the table as a world-renowned meditator, negotiator, and author. As an expert in conflict and pragmatic solutions, Hesha implements innovative approaches and thought-provoking solutions that obtain favorable outcomes for even the most complex conflicts, including mediating the case over the secret recipe for Pepsi. Hesha’s popular new book, Holding The Calm shares her secrets on how to read a situation to solve problems, eliminate conflict, and restore harmony.

Hesha and I talk about what we do wrong that makes it harder to resolve conflicts and she shares some of her practical approaches to addressing conflict more effectively. We also get into how to help your team members resolve conflicts so you can foster stronger teamwork.

Members of the Modern Manager community can get a free, 1-hour Zoom if The Modern Manager community together purchases 100 copies of Hesha’s book, Holding the Calm. This book shares key strategies and inspirational treasures to resolve disputes, settle cases, and re-channel arguments; buy it for yourself and your team! Get this bonus when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: How to Hold the Calm when Dealing with Conflict



Key Takeaways:

  • Conflict is like spilled spaghetti sauce; the sooner you deal with it, the easier it is.
  • When we don’t understand others, we label them negatively. Confirmation bias then looks for evidence for these negative beliefs of others which further cements our belief.
  • Try to find redeeming qualities of others or consider how they operate (introvert/extrovert, a kinesthetic/visual/auditory learner) to give yourself a more expansive view of their humanity.
  • Think like a doctor when someone emotionally erupts on you. Instead of looking away, look closer to find clues about their pain.
  • Create a moat around yourself so that others’ emotions don’t overwhelm you. Repeat “Hold the calm” to remind your amygdala you’re safe.
  • VUCS others when they are upset by Validating their emotions, Understanding their perspective, Clarifying the situation, and Summarizing what you heard. This takes the wind out of the conflict.
  • If colleagues are warring, meet with them privately. Help them find redeeming qualities of the other and share that positive information with them.

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