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Unlocking the Power of Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution skills

Conflict is an inevitable part of every workplace, but it's not always apparent how much damage toxic behaviors can cause. Unproductive conflict can have a significant negative impact on productivity, performance, and the bottom line of an organization.

However, when handled correctly, conflict can lead to breakthroughs and success. In this blog post, we'll explore the underlying connection between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, which drive destructive conflict in the workplace. We'll also introduce a proven methodology grounded in psychology and validated in the field to empower individuals to engage in conflict productively.

Understanding Destructive Behaviors Under the Hood

Conflict often triggers behaviors like gossiping, sarcasm, stonewalling, and exaggeration. These behaviors can feel gratifying in the moment, but they can also damage relationships and hinder productivity. The real question is, why do we engage in these behaviors when they seem counterproductive? It turns out that these behaviors serve hidden but undeniable benefits:

1. Gossiping: Gossip can be cathartic and validate our opinions. It can also rally people to our side and create a sense of authority among those insecure about their status in an organization.

2. Sarcasm: Sarcasm allows us to express hostility subtly and externalize our frustration without appearing too confrontational. It's a tempting tool in the heat of conflict.

3. Stonewalling: Stonewalling communicates that communication is shut down due to the other person's unacceptable behavior. It can be gratifying and a self-preservation strategy when overwhelmed by emotions.

4. Exaggeration: Exaggeration amplifies the intensity of our emotions, making our case seem more powerful and defensible.

These behaviors are just the tip of the iceberg. Individuals often have their own go-to conflict strategies, making toxic conflict difficult to address uniformly.

The Toll of Conflict on the Workplace

Unaddressed conflict takes a substantial toll on organizations:

70% of managers and executives believe interpersonal conflict negatively impacts departmental efficiency. Managers spend an average of 13 hours per month dealing with workplace conflict. 40% of workers have left their job due to unhealthy interpersonal conflict.

These statistics highlight the urgent need to address and manage workplace conflict effectively.

The Challenge of Managing Conflict

Many organizations simply encourage employees to "act like professionals" when faced with conflict. However, this broad and ad-hoc approach often falls short. Most individuals lack the skills to regulate their internal responses to conflict effectively. Our instinctual responses to conflict are complex and often inaccessible, making it challenging to manage them. As a result, conflicts remain unresolved, negatively affecting efficiency and engagement.

DiSC conflict management

The Secret Engine Behind Destructive Responses

Our real motivations in conflict are often hidden and counterintuitive. We tend to indulge in destructive responses because they offer hidden rewards. For example, engaging in gossiping or holding onto anger can provide a sense of satisfaction or empowerment. These rewards make it difficult to break free from destructive conflict patterns.

The Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) offers an effective way to manage destructive conflict responses. CBT works by recognizing and managing automatic thoughts that trigger emotional reactions. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Recognize Unhealthy Automatic Thoughts

  • Emotions serve as a signal to slow down and reflect.

  • Ask yourself what thought is driving your emotional reaction.

Step 2: Catch and Reframe Automatic Thoughts

  • Reframe the initial thought with one that's more realistic and productive.

Step 3: Choose a More Productive Response

  • As your thoughts align with reality, your emotional reaction will become more proportional to the situation.

  • This empowers you to choose a productive response.

DiSC® Workplace Certification: Empowering Conflict Resolution Excellence

The DiSC® Workplace Certification program is instrumental in enhancing Conflict Resolution skills by providing a deep understanding of individual behavior and communication styles. Participants learn to recognize and interpret DiSC® profiles, which identify unique behavioral tendencies in themselves and others.

Armed with this insight, individuals can adapt their communication and conflict resolution approaches to be more effective. DiSC® certification empowers professionals to address conflicts with empathy and flexibility, bridging gaps in understanding and reducing tensions. It promotes a harmonious work environment where conflicts are managed constructively, ultimately leading to better teamwork, improved relationships, and enhanced Conflict Resolution capabilities across the organization.

Getting Personal with Everything DiSC®

To make CBT more accessible, Everything DiSC® offers a scalable training program. This program takes into account individual personality traits and helps participants understand their unique conflict tendencies. It provides personalized techniques to redirect destructive habits into more productive behaviors, improving workplace relationships and driving results.


Conflict doesn't have to be a drag on workplace efficiency and engagement. By recognizing and managing automatic thoughts and hidden emotions, individuals can regain control over their conflict responses. Organizations can create a culture where conflict fosters innovation and problem-solving rather than toxicity. Effective conflict management is within reach, and it starts with understanding what's under the hood.

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