A “Strong Middle” is Vital for a Healthy Workplace Conflict Management System

All too infrequently, I get down on the floor and do a few sit-ups. I’m doing it knowing the benefits of a strong middle (i.e., core). The body functions better, is healthier, with a strong middle. I know that. You know that. What’s less obvious is that a strong middle also applies to workplace conflict […]

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Union-Employer Collective Agreements emphasize rights over power

When I was 18 years old, I had no interest in school. So, I went to work at National Steel Car, in Hamilton, Ontario. The company made railway cars. The scale of the operations was huge, overwhelming for me. At the time, I felt a boy among men. Yet, as a (Steelworkers) union member I was […]

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My “Expressing Feelings” Algorithm for Difficult Workplace Conversations and Problem-Solving

“Never mind all that feelings stuff, let’s just do it”. Just do it. Just do the work. If only life were so simple. In the workplace, jointly solving problems often involves difficult conversations, and conflicting views. Difficult conversations won’t go well unless feelings are surfaced. We have to have those conversations. Change happens, finding solutions to […]

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The 911 Emergency Dispatcher and the Workplace Conflict Manager: Your Solutions Connectors

Learning on the job is great, unless someone’s life or job depends on it. I often meet workplace managers who run quite successful businesses, yet feel somewhat lost, ill prepared, when a conflicted employee knocks on their door. On the contrary, 911 emergency dispatchers know exactly how to respond. The effective 911 dispatcher and workplace manager […]

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Mediating the destruction of Confederacy statues in the U.S.A.

One conflict that took centre stage over the last week had to do with statues commemorating the Confederacy, and their link to racism and white supremacy. (The image above is of Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, and is in Charlottesville, Virginia; credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters) From an early age, I was put on notice about racists and […]

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