RESOLVE WORKPLACE AND INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT
I didn’t grow up learning how to manage conflict effectively. By the time I started my law career as a young adult, I had two ways of dealing with it. If I could convince myself it wasn’t important enough to address, or if I didn’t have the time or energy to get into it, I’d avoid it. If it was something really important to me, I’d confront, argue and try to convince the other person I was right. Neither was a good strategy for healthy relationships. In fact, some relationships and jobs ended as a result, often because I walked away rather than trying to resolve the conflict. When I had the opportunity to take negotiation and mediation training as a young lawyer, everything changed. While the focus of the training was using the skills professionally to support others, I also began using them to address situations I wasn’t happy with at work and in my personal life. I noticed that all of those relationships changed. Communication was easier, working together was more effective and satisfying, I was calmer, and for the most part, I found the majority of conflict was prevented. When conflict did come up, I was less stressed about it because I felt confident I had the skills to get us to a place of mutual understanding.