Ki Moments Blog

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January 30, 2018

Requesting Assistance -- Name That Book!

Requesting Assistance -- Name That Book!


I'm writing a new book. In fact, it's written. But there's still a lot to do--like the title. I have a working title, but I'm not completely satisfied with it. As I swam laps this morning, I thought: I'll do a bit of crowdsourcing and ask my Ki Moments subscribers what they think of the title, and invite them to offer alternatives.

To help you, below are some facts about the book, a question, and an excerpt. You can offer any suggestions in the "Let’s discuss this post in the comments" section at the bottom of the post on my website, or you can send me an email at judy@judyringer.com. And I'll send everyone who replies a copy of my new book (maybe with your title!) when it's published. Thanking you in advance.... here we go....

Current Working Title

Coming to Center: A Guide for Managers with Employees in Conflict

Premise

I want to offer managers, supervisors and leaders a skill-based manual for resolving conflict between coworkers at any level of an organization. Designed as a coaching intervention, the book offers a step-by-step process for developing skills—for the manager and the people they support—to not merely resolve the conflict but transform problematic relationships.

Audience

I often describe the book as the Getting to Yes for managers with coworkers who have been in conflict so long they forgot how it started. Both employees are crucial players, and to lose either would leave a tremendous gap in the organization.

The book is for leaders who are looking to better manage interpersonal conflict among staff, as well as for small business owners, school administrators, and human resource professionals.

Questionunbendable-arm-before-after

The martial art Aikido--as both metaphor and skill-building method--is foundational to the book. I give many examples of how Aikido concepts can play out and support the manager in facilitating the process.

Should Aikido be in the title? 

Excerpt

Coming to Center: A Guide for Managers with Employees in Conflict


What should I do when coworkers don't get along?

In a quarter-century of training and coaching, I’ve seen dozens of managers and leaders struggle with this question. As a conflict and communication skills professional, I work closely with managers of small businesses and corporate teams. Usually, the manager asks me to solve the problem--to intervene between two people who are equally important to the company and who are not getting along. In many cases, their conflict is distracting to those around them and hurting the organization.

When I ask the manager to describe the problem, common responses include:

  • There’s a personality conflict between two key players that needs resolving.”
  • “I don’t know what to do with coworkers who can’t get along.”
  • “When do I let people work it out themselves, and when do I get involved?”
  • “Their conflict is disrupting our workflow/customer service/productivity/team.”

And I understand the manager’s challenge. Although intervening in conflict is not for the faint of heart, it comes with the job if you're a manager, supervisor, or leader. Even so, you may not have received the necessary training or previously encountered such a challenge.

The first time I was asked to mediate and resolve a workplace conflict between two employees, I was hesitant. At the time, my work centered on training individuals and groups in addressing conflict, engaging in difficult conversations, and overcoming performance anxiety. I was experienced in mediation techniques, but I sensed this request called for something different. The client wanted these employees to be able to work well together beyond the resolution of the current conflict. I see most problems emanating from a lack of awareness and skill. If the parties had the skills, they could resolve any conflict—the current one and those that might arise in the future.

appreciation-exercise-afterWhen I work one-on-one with individuals, I call it conflict coaching, and I heard this request as that--coach two individuals, one at a time, in the same conflict management skills and aikido concepts central to my group trainings--until they’re ready to sit together and talk to each other about rebuilding their working relationship. In many ways, the Coming to Center process offers a middle ground between mediation and conflict coaching. As in mediation, agreement and resolution are the desired outcomes. In Coming to Center, equally important is the emphasis on teaching skills that will support the parties ever after in all areas of life.

As I fielded more of these requests to work with individuals in conflict, I confirmed my sense that the work was about instructing people on the needed skills to sort things out. If the individuals were interested, motivated, and willing to acquire the skills, there was every reason to believe the individuals themselves would resolve the conflict. What’s more, the parties could walk away with expertise and leadership qualities to apply in other settings--a win for the employees, their manager, and the organization.

Your Mission, Should You Accept

How would you title my book? I look forward to hearing from you and sending you a copy when it's off the presses!

Thank you!

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