Effective conflict resolution nurtures a positive work environment, promotes healthy relationships, improves productivity, enhances problem-solving skills, and reduces turnover.
In this chat, Dr. Sundiata Soon-Jahta and Maryella Marie will join us to share best practices and actionable tips to address and overcome workplace conflict.
In our recurring bi-monthly Q&A, we’ll discuss:
How cultivating authentic dialogue will help you handle workplace conflict
Tips to co-create a thriving workplace culture
Ways to boost trust and collaboration
We can’t wait to meet you back here to keep the conversation burning. Questions, comments, and active participation are always encouraged.
All right, hello and welcome everyone.
It looks like folks are joining us here from the waiting room.
So I'll take that as my cue that we are live, um.
So just want to say, hello and welcome to everyone who's joining us here live.
Or if you are re-watching this what's up.
Thank you for uh, sharing virtual space with us today.
So that we can learn how to treat each other better, um to co-create a thriving culture together, um, using some tools that we're going to dive in deep a little bit here.
But before we go into the questions that you will have submitted for today's conversation.
Just want to briefly go through some introductions.
So if you are here live with us, we would love for you to participate.
And you can do that in a couple of ways you can write in the chat.
You can, um, also, you know, write to me privately or write to our guest speaker, privately if you have any, um, any kind of sensitive information.
And you prefer to be kept Anonymous that would be a good time to write to us, privately and we'll make sure to raise your question or your reflection and keep you Anonymous there, but otherwise, how about we start to warm up the chat box? Now if you're here now go ahead and drop in the chat where you're calling from today, let us know where you are in the world and I'll give you all a shout out here.
Shortly as I see folks dropping and representing there in the chat box.
So also just to keep in mind that we are recording, um, we're, also live streaming this on LinkedIn.
So, um, if you are joining us on LinkedIn and you're, not here in our Zoom room, hey, what's up, I, won't, see you here with us, but I know that you are taking notes and paying attention, um and be be on the lookout for when we highlight different ways to connect with us today.
So if you have signed up for this conversation, be looking be looking out for a re-watch email.
So you'll have an email from power to fly that will have a link to this session, where you'll be able to re-watch it take more notes or share it with your community and your colleagues as well.
So and the last thing I'll say, is, of course, right in the chat.
We want to make sure that we are catering to the folks who are here live with us today.
So if anything comes up, if you weren't able to submit a question beforehand and something comes up as you hear us speaking feel free to write to us.
So I, see, we've got Southern California, representing we've got India in the house.
We've got Houston, Texas, South, Carolina, Argentina, Denver, Colorado, Long, Beach, California, Indiana, all right.
See more folks are dropping in here.
Atlanta Georgia, Douglasville, India, awesome, Richmond, Virginia.
So keep dropping in the chat, um, you know, just would love for you all to to continue to keep it to keep the chat box warmed up and also inviting you all to connect amongst yourselves.
So if you have any linkedins or websites or projects that you want to share with folks who are here today, feel free to use the chat box, um, so that you all can connect with each other when this session finishes here.
So, um, before we introduce our guest speaker, I'll take a brief moment to introduce myself for those of you who are joining, um.
And this is the first time that you're seeing me moderate a conversation here.
So my name is Mariela, Marie, I live in the mighty mountains of Patagonia Argentina, specifically in San Martin de los sandes, the original lands of the mapuche people and I am a lot of things.
But for the sake of this conversation, uh, I am a Liberation facilitator, um I'm, an artist at heart I have had the pleasure to share space break bread, uh, create and and produce with our guest speaker.
Here soon Jada that I'm going to pass them like to in just one moment here, um, but I'm, just I'm so excited to have sunjata share his knowledge.
Am team sunjata because I really really, um, I resonate with his message, and just how we can all be better communicators and not better in the sense of, you know, whatever the textbook definition of being a good communicator is it's actually listening, and and bringing our authentic selves to the conversation.
So, um, sujata, I, I, don't want to spill any any beans here, I know, a lot of people might have actually joined a couple sessions where we have been, um in conversation on power to fly before.
Let us know in the chat if you have already, but for those uh sunjata for those who are here today, who have never met you in person or online? Can you just take a couple moments to introduce yourself? Let us know why you do what you do.
And then we can set the stage up after that for today's conversation.
Sure sure thank you so much Mariella.
Thank you for uh, such a warm, uh, greeting and an introduction and uh, as you've shared with everyone, you know, we've it's Unique that Mariella and I actually met through this power to fly, you know platform.
And we've developed a a working relationship, a personal relationship, a creative relationship, um, you know, just one of support.
And and and really, you know, supporting each other's visions and gifts and and helping us to manifest who we are in this world, um, you know, in a way that makes a positive difference.
So it's I'm really grateful for this platform, I'm grateful that all of you are here to join us today.
And hopefully you'll walk away with something, uh, really useful.
So you know, I like to share with everyone that you know, I consider myself, an anti-oppression, uh, facilitator organizer and educator, um.
And and um, uh, you know, oh sorry in content.
Creator, I was forgetting one content.
Creator, yes, um that's, like the overarching theme of of how my work, uh goes out into the world and goes out into the world in a lot of different ways.
And you know, it's led to, you know, me doing conflict resolution work, um, you know, change management, deib, uh, collaborative culture, facilitation, Etc.
And you know, I've been doing this work in a lot of different ways over the years and more recently within the last three years, uh, working with organizations, uh, large and large organizations within the last three years, really Grassroots, uh organizations for the pre for about five years prior to that.
And you know what I've learned is well I'll get into what I've learned, but that's I'll say, that's a little bit about me and as I, you know, continue to get into what we're going to share today.
You'll you'll, learn more about how uh, you know, you can use some of the tools and and insights that I've gained over the years to help you resolve conflict and and thrive in your workplace.
Thank you sunjata.
So I forgot to mention that this session is eligible for Sherm credits.
So this, um, this ID at the bottom of the screen here to the left, go ahead and grab that code, um, I'm gonna take the screen away in just a couple of minutes, actually a couple of seconds.
And then at the end I'll project it again.
So that you have for those of you who are not, uh here and I have access to the chat box, um, because we did Paloma did drop that in the chat box, but be sure to grab that Sherm ID number here, um.
And if you didn't get a chance to do that, just yet don't worry, I will give you all time to do that at the end of this session.
So all right.
So, thank you sunjata for giving us that introduction, um I want to just see where our audience is today.
So if you're here live with us, please drop a one in the chat.
If you are currently going through some sort of conflict in the workplace that you're looking to resolve ASAP like you're, looking to resolve yesterday, drop a one in the chat of that is you drop a two in the chat.
If you are here for a more preventative measure.
So in order to understand how to resolve conflict, should it arrive arise in the workplace? So drop a one in the chat, if you need the help yesterday drop a two in the chat, if you're here for more, um of, you know, preventative measures all right, lots of twos, which is great lots, a couple ones as well.
So, um just wanted to see where you all are today.
So that when we get to these questions, you know, we can definitely speak to those, uh, who are doing more preventative work here.
And those who might actually be able to take some of these things we're saying today and and use them, um, as soon as we get off this call.
So thank you all for dropping in the chat, um so we'll, take the next hour to answer as many questions as we can that were previously submitted again, if anything comes up in the moment, and you weren't able to submit a question, go ahead and drop those in the chat.
And as time allows I'll get to those questions that arise in the moment.
So first let's set up the stage by talking about co-creating, a thriving, work culture, um.
And then we'll we'll.
Talk about the power of authentic dialogue versus debate later on in the conversation, but sunjata, what is co-creating a thriving work culture? Can you help set the stage? Uh for us? There sure, um, yeah, you know this whole concept of co-creating, a thriving work culture, um is something that has been very valuable for our clients, uh, aggro dialogue.
Because a lot of times people can a lot of times people find themselves in situations where they're constantly putting out fires they're constantly addressing conflict in a moment.
And you know they address it.
And then something else comes up.
They address it.
Something else comes up and they're constantly in a reactive, State versus a proactive State.
And the concept of co-creating, a thriving work culture is all about being proactive.
It's all about leadership.
Um, you know, within a team, whether that be, you know, top down leadership or bottom-up leadership, because it happens both ways, um, decide that you know they want to come together to put some processes and procedures in place to help them to proactively cultivate a thriving work culture.
And when you think about the word thriving I'm, imagine that you know all of you kind of Imagine That being something, um, you know, different.
But also similar in the sense that you know, when you think about a thriving work culture, I think about, you know, work culture, where there's Harmony where there's peace, there's collaboration, there's feel good energy and it's it's, a feeling of camaraderie.
And when problems arise, uh, there's a confidence, knowing that you know in conflict or issues arise that you know, we are made up of the right stuff to resolve it together in a way that's going to uplift as a.
And you know, as opposed to putting people down Etc.
So the key word within that concept of co-creating, a thriving work culture is co-creating.
You know, we all, you know, we've arrived at this point in history, where in the past for many many decades, you know, in a work, setting it's been authoritarian it's been hierarchical where uh, you know, everything has been top down, one person or a group of people have the power to make decisions.
And you know, if a conflict of roles, you know, there could be some politics involved in terms of how it gets resolved Etc.
But for a long time, there was never really a healthy way to resolve conflict where everyone felt like they could be heard.
Everyone felt like they were understood.
Everyone felt like their needs were honored.
And yet we were able to find some common ground and move forward together.
Well, at grow dialogue, we created a process for doing just that, uh, with the training that we have called co-creating and thriving, team culture and I'm just going to give you a few insights from that very briefly.
So one of the keys in that is co-creating a culture statement, and then a set of five core values.
And when we go in with teams, we help teams create a culture statement and core values that they can all see themselves in.
And by the process of co-creating it together, uh, there's a different level of buy-in.
When you have a culture statement that anchors your organization, anchors, your team that all stakeholders had a voice in creating together.
And now when uh, you have this culture statement about how you want to be for one another, how you want to treat one another, how you want to feel how you want your culture to feel and impact your day-to-day operations, you know, we're used to having a Mission Vision Etc that is customer facing a culture statement is internal and team facing internal fishing organizational facing so it's for you all to, you know, uh, something for you all to be held accountable to for each other.
And once that's created now when it comes to decision making conflict resolution, Innovation Etc, you can now have values based conversations and decision making conversations values-based conflict, resolution conversations.
Instead of pointing the finger at you know, someone because you know someone said something or didn't do something you may have liked you can now come together and say, you see how our culture statement says, XYZ, well, I'm currently feeling like we're misaligned with that and here's.
So it takes away blame shame and though that type of energy and it it focuses the energy around resolving, the conflict around being aligned and accountable to being who you said, you want to be for one another based on a culture statement and a set of core values that you co-created together.
Well, said, yes, all right.
Let's end the talk there.
We can all go practice it right? Nah, no I want to dive a little deeper, but I'd.
So clearly put, um, yeah.
We have some folks writing the chat that this is awesome, love it and I think, you know, it's, it's important to to just highlight what you said again, it's.
This is not something that's, uh, you know, public facing client-facing.
Uh, this is something that is, uh, hopefully can do some, you know, internal behavioral change within the company, um.
So I, really appreciate you highlighting that.
Because a lot of people might say, oh, we already have a vision statement, or we already have a, you know, an objective as as a company, but you know, I've seen the beauty of this co-creating it together asking people what is important to you, um, you know.
And and especially now that we are doing a lot of remote work.
Some of us who are able to do that, you know, we have, you know, different cultures coming together, um, which which I think in my opinion, uh and makes it even more important to co-create together.
So that we aren't getting these, you know, outside side, um, you know, forces telling us what to do that might not sit.
Well with us.
People are actually asking us what we think about it.
How we want to input, um, uh, our creativity as well.
So you you kind of already highlighted, what could happen if people aren't doing this, but I just want to speak to this specific question as it's as it's written? What happens if conflict is unresolved in the workplace? Now you mentioned, you know, shaming blaming all these things can happen.
Uh, if you don't, if we don't have this tool of of co-creating a, you know, value statement and all that, but what what other things do you want to add to that? So what happens if conflict is unresolved in the workplace? Well I think that you know everyone that's here with us.
Everyone is watching can probably think of all the different ways that you know, uh, the culture of a team deteriorates when conflict is unresolved.
And you know, Eddie rolls trust, you know, it erodes, you know, a feeling of psychological safety in the workplace, and unfortunately, too many organizations because of the focus for so many generations on the bottom line on production and not necessarily on the soft skills, not necessarily on, you know, culture building it's more focused on strategy, Etc, um, there's, an opportunity cost for that.
In the opportunity costs.
Uh tends to be losing.
You know, valuable, uh, employees, valuable teammates who lose trust and confidence when they don't feel safe in a specific workplace.
And so you find people moving around and I, personally feel that too.
Many companies are okay with that.
And they don't understand that, you know, it's actually hurting their bottom line because down the line when when it comes to uh losing that, uh, you know, someone who's already immersed in the the the the company's, you know, uh, knowing all the operational policies procedures.
And all the things that this body of knowledge that an individual has it takes time and money to get to train someone and get them up to speed and get them comfortable within the company and the longer you can hold on to good people, uh, who are, you know, fully immersed in and understanding the company and the role Etc, um, you know, the more efficient, the organization will be.
And if an organization is constantly having attrition, um, you know, every few years then they're losing money, uh on their bottom line and they're not thinking long term, um, so I would say, you know, that's a consideration that I think, uh needs to be highlighted here.
More than anything else.
It I love that you went, you know, the from the personal to also the financial losses that can happen if conflict remains unresolved in the in the workplace.
So I know, some people needed to hear both sides of that too because it's like when people don't want to lose money.
So yeah, oftentimes you know a lot of folks who will join us on these chats will wonder how can I get the ear of leadership to help them understand that.
This is important and that's.
The conversation that if you happen to work for one of those organizations that don't put enough time and energy into nurturing a thriving, team culture, you can speak about that that you know that opportunity costs for not doing so that that Downstream effect where they're going to be losing money, uh because we're losing good people.
Or even if people are there understand this there's something called apathy, right? You could be there, but not giving 100 effort versus a team that feels psychologically safe feels like leadership cares about, you know that and cares about resolving conflict and cares about the culture you're going to get more energy and more effort.
You know, in a more sustainable work culture when you focus and give time, you know to nurturing the culture, in addition to just focusing on strategy and numbers love.
It love it.
Thank you for that.
Okay, let's move on to the next question here.
What are the best practices for teaching conflict resolution in the workplace? Should upper management be prioritized and hope that the Lessons Learned, uh are trickled down to individual contributors.
So in terms of best practices there's, several, you know, different organizations different.
You know, consulting firms who do conflict resolution have their practices that may be effective, you know, I can only speak to our practice.
And what works? You know, well for us and it's it's, uh, you know what I kind of already hinted at, um in terms of taking the time to go through a process of co-creating a a culture statement of core values with the team to get that buy-in, you know, it's an awesome team building activity, uh, every time we do it with the organization with the team.
You know, they talk about how they feel closer to one another, because they went through that process together, they know more about one.
Another automatically trust is built, uh or strengthened and enhanced by going through a process like that psychological safety is enhanced by going through a process like that.
But it doesn't stop there.
In addition to that it's important to have a pressure release, uh, you know mechanism as a part of your organization, where there's a check-in point where I like to call culture, check-ins and culture check-ins are where you literally set aside time on a monthly basis to have a culture check-in meeting.
And what does that look like? Well now that you have your core values, you have your culture statement.
You come together.
And we facilitate these meetings for our clients, where we'll come in and we'll facilitate this using authentic dialogue and another tool that we have called change up and we'll ask, you know, with Cons with considering your culture statement.
Your core values, are there any ways that you all feel like you're currently misaligned with how you say you want to be for one another who you want to be and how you want to be for one for one another and by creating that space as a team as a leadership team? Um, you know making that Sacred Space for for for your staff.
It signals to everyone that we care about our culture that we're going to set aside two hours a month.
Okay, for this culture check-in meeting, depending on the size of the team let's say up to two hours a month, um, where we're gonna set aside this time for us to come together and check in on our culture.
And when we notice misalignments, we come up with, uh, uh, uh solutions that we can try out going forward to address any misalignments that are arrived that arise with how we may be misaligned from our culture statement or our core values.
So when you do that you're proactively giving a checkpoint for releasing any tension that may be building up month to month.
And again, what that does is I can't speak to how powerful it is in terms of setting the tone for a thriving, work culture for people feeling psychologically safe for people, resolving conflict together and collaboratively.
And also it empowers people to then take care of one-to-one, uh, conflicts, more effectively as well, using the same tools that we teach where folks will feel more comfortable and more equipped with having the skills to have those one-on-one conflict, resolution conversations as well because it's being modeled team-wide and organizational wide as well.
So for us.
And what we do at grow dialogue, that's the best practice, um, you know model.
And in terms of should it be done with the leadership team.
First and trickle down, it should be done organizationally.
We've worked with organizations that are really really large and certain teams within organizations have different culture statements.
There may be like an overarching one, but then smaller teams within will have their own culture statement and core values for their for their team that is similar to or in alignment with the overarching one as well.
But having those checkpoints at different levels of an organization for different team members to point to to have those values based, uh, you know, conflict resolution conversations or decision-making stations is very useful.
And it needs to be organizational wide.
I, love it.
Thank you for that.
This is a really interesting question that I would love to hear your your response to, um, you know, speaking of because a lot of people when they're in these kind of toxic work environments, and they know that maybe they they need to leave or they want to no one is listening to them or maybe they're in a position where they have to let someone go.
Um, you know, I'd love for you to talk about this should I stay or should I go.
When do we know when that's enough, uh, or when we've come to that point.
So this question reads, specifically, it reads if conflict resolution has been attempted before and parties still disrupt the workplace with conflict.
When do you say enough is enough and possibly end one or both employees employment or are there other Alternatives that can be attempted? Yeah, let me, you know what I'm going to answer that I wanted to I saw a question come through in the chat that I wanted to um address.
Here someone asked you provide an example, culture statement.
So I went on ahead and copied one, um that I'm that I answer underneath so I think everyone maybe should be able to see it.
Did you see me populate that Mariella? Yes, I.
See it here in the chat? Okay.
So everyone can see an example, culture statement, uh, there in the chat.
So, um going back to the question you just asked, you know, I I believe that there there can be, you know situations where there's just a misalignment and um, like very very stream cases where there's a misalignment and how someone or some people consistently show up, uh, Beyond, you know, all of the efforts that have been, um, let's, say, conflict, resolution efforts.
Because in this question, it says that those efforts have been, you know, put forth so what's, assuming that certain efforts have been put forth let's say, you know, a process like the similar one that I've been I've been talking at, uh and hinting at um has been put in place.
And some people are still not, um showing up in a way that shows that they want to.
You know, be in alignment with the team.
The values, Etc, um, you know, I do believe that there there may be a time where, um, it may be necessary to create space in that way, um, you know, I, don't, I, don't work in HR.
So I don't want to you know, get into any of the technicalities around hiring and firing that's.
Not my expertise I, don't know, I know that sometimes there's, you know, some, um policies and procedures and steps to have to go towards that.
But only the only thing I can say concretely is, um, sometimes it is okay to acknowledge that.
Um, you know, there's a misalignment, but and and and and you know, I even in personal relationships, but and it's, like I know, you I care about you I, love you, but I need to create space because the ways that we show up, we may be unintentionally causing harm to one another.
And you know that may be what's happening, oftentimes I don't think people intentionally cause harm.
But sometimes our personality differences, or you know, just other things may be going on where creating space is necessary, um.
And if in a workplace context, that means you know, asking someone to move along or someone may choose, you know, you know, I know that we have some questions around being bullied in a workplace by leaders Etc.
There just comes a time where we have to admit that you know, this is just not the best fit and moving on.
And when I say creating space that just means moving along, you know, finding a different place to work finding a different culture that is more aligned with my values.
And my beliefs is a necessary thing to do I love that.
Thank you for your transparency there and giving some examples of how it can also happen in our personal relationships.
Right? So oftentimes some of our work relationships might become personal.
You know, but also outside of work when conflict arises something that we we say sunshine on these conversations, where we're having on power to fly is that conflict is is inevitable and it's.
Something that happens in our in our, you know, Human Experience.
And so you know having these tools in our pockets help us to navigate conflict instead of thinking, you know that you're doing something wrong or that, you know, you have to try to fight for something that is is very toxic.
So thank you for highlighting that, um, I think, this is a great moment unless you reflect on anything else.
I think, it's a great moment to roll into some authentic dialogue, um stuff.
Okay, cool I.
Agree all right perfect.
So, um, for those who have not heard you speak about authentic dialogue, I'd just love to help help set the stage for the power of authentic dialogue versus debate.
So sunjada, can you talk to us about the importance of authentic dialogue and how or why our modern culture leans into debate and discussion more than authentic dialogue? Sure, yeah and and I'm glad you were feeling that too because that last question, uh, was was prompting in my mind how you know, um, the context from which we are looking to resolved a conflict.
Um, the communication framework context is really important because more often than not people are looking to resolve conflict from a debate based context versus an authentic dialogue, uh based context or communication framework.
And you know debate is the one that we all are familiar with because that is the societal default.
It is a society, the societal Norm, um because of again, our authoritarian history, um, our top-down history.
And you know, we're all familiar with debate because you know, our politicians have debates when it's when it's time for running for election.
And you know, uh, winning, uh, winning and gaining power, uh in schools.
They have debate clubs as a way to, um for some folks to distinguish or set themselves apart from others as a skill set that is praised in a lot of ways and, um, you know, when you think about the date, one of the telltale signs of debate is in order for me to be right.
You have to be wrong.
You know, that's why we have debate teams is a competition right? Um, when Com when politicians are debating they're trying to one-up one another they're, trying to make the other person, look bad, they're trying to uh devalue and, um, you know, uh, devalue and delegitimize.
And you know, make it seem like the other person doesn't know what they're talking about it's, just it's just rooted in competition, uh, there's, a lot of tension, people cutting one another off, because that makes you look more powerful more authoritative, more dominant when you can cut someone off, um, you know and and make your point and belittle someone like all these things.
And even in the you know, when we talk about debate versus discussion, um, you know, discussion is really just a more civil form of debate because in the debate, the object is is that you want to be right.
And the other person has to be wrong.
Well in a discussion, even though, um, if you're having a discussion, oftentimes it's like I say, civil form of debate, because you may not be cutting one another off and trying to talk over the other person.
There may be some listing involved.
But ultimately in a discussion, you still want to be right and ultimately it's all about proving that your point of view is the right point of view.
And why other people should follow you and listen to you, um, even in a discussion.
So that's, the cultural norm, that's the cultural default, even in, you know, power dynamics growing up.
You know, um, I've noticed that you know you we we grew up in a society where historically, you know, this is reaching back and I know, these things have been changing let's say, historically, you know, we have the power dynamics in households where the the father or the man of the house, you know, gets the final word.
And even if there's some debate back and forth, they get the final word or the parent gets the final word, or obviously in a workplace, setting, the manager, the boss, the CEO gets the final word, even in the debate-based context, um, you know, Etc.
And another thing that often happens, especially in the workplace, is debate tends to disadvantage introverted people because oftentimes, um in the debate-based context, people who are quick thinkers or quick wit it who can you know, respond quickly, you know to situations, uh, they're seen as someone who is more, you know, uh, they get it.
They get more privilege, and they get more Advantage they're seen as a leader they're seen as a goal gear, they're seen as this that and the other, uh, whereas someone who may be more introverted or someone who needs to process information before they speak, uh, they're often put at a disadvantage, but it doesn't mean that they don't have something just as valuable.
This is Meaningful to say, and those people will always be at a disadvantage, uh in a debate-based situation.
And the debate-based context, what tends to be the norm and workplace settings? And you know, I've heard from people who are introverted people who are more reflective who like the process who feel you know, again, silenced, unheard like their their strengths, aren't, um, valued enough Etc in the workplace, setting.
And so let's transition that to talking about authentic dialogue.
So in the context of an authentic dialogue, uh, it's, a space, where everyone's voice is heard, uh and is usually facilitated.
Okay, um and I there's, a way for you to engage someone in an authentic dialogue, even without a facilitator, uh? Or even if both people haven't been trained on the tennis of authentic dialogue and we'll talk a little bit a bit about that here in a moment and we'll share a resource with you about that, however, when we go in, and we we do alternate dialogues with teams organizations Etc, we train them on the tenants of it and then we'll facilitate these monthly culture check-ins, which US in a dialogue is an element of it and what's different.
There is when in within the context of an often in dialogue, we ask people to, you know, um to activate their capacity for tolerance, meaning, uh, accepting that people are going to have different perspectives and beliefs and that's.
And when you feel triggered when that when those differences and perspectives and beliefs come up we're asked people to be aware of being triggered, but to then activate their capacity for tolerance, meaning that acknowledging that we are all complex and and and and unique as individuals.
And we think different.
We have different beliefs.
We have different cultural backgrounds.
We have different upbringings.
And when that tension comes up recognize that as an opportunity and not something to get defensive, uh of another thing that we we teach and talk about in authentic dialogue is empathetic.
Listening is listening, uh, with the intent to understand the other person, even if you don't agree with them I want to say that, again, because that's a really powerful skill have any ability to listen to someone empathetically, meaning, I want to listen to you to truly understand you I want to understand what your concerns are behind your perspective.
What your fears are what your assumptions are? What are your underlying needs behind that statement that perspective that opinions I want to truly understand that even if I don't agree with your outcome, or how you got to it I can understand it right? And then from there, there's empathetic, questioning where you're asking someone questions to give them an opportunity to expand to clarify to get again to the underlying assumptions and beliefs that they may not be even be aware of that are guiding their perspectives and assumptions Etc.
And oftentimes not even oftentimes all the time in the context of an authentic dialogue, you know, when people tend to be defensive or you know when they're expressing themselves, or you know, kind of have that energy.
Initially when someone gets asked when someone is listened to empathetically, and they get asked empathetic questions that tension goes down automatically.
And people are more willing to compromise.
People are more willing to find common ground.
And you know, people are more willing to be vulnerable and transparent.
And when we're in a space of vulnerability and transparency with another human being it's, an energy that exchange that happens where Comfort comes with, you know, there's the level of comfort that releases all the tension and we're able to move forward feeling good together, especially when it goes both ways because just like you show up for someone that way when they've had a chance to express themselves Etc, then you get the opportunity to share your perspectives your beliefs.
And now they get to listen to you empathetically and ask you empathetic questions and get to your underlying beliefs, your underlying fears, your underlying concerns your underlying needs Etc.
And once all that's on the table, then there's an opportunity for teasing out common ground and finding solutions that everyone can consent to and feel good about moving forward and that's a little that's, a lot of it.
Slash a little bit about the process, involting the dialogue and some of the tenants that are at the foundation of it and I can share with you all that there's never been a time when it didn't work, you know, I've had the opportunity to facilitate some really polarizing, uh, mediation sessions and groups as well as through two people, uh on some very polarizing topics, where people tend to butt heads and see a complete turnaround where people uh now have a greater appreciation for one another because they're addressing an issue in the context of an authentic dialogue versus a debate love.
It I love that, um and yes, I I've heard.
Some of these stories from you, um on seeing the, you know, the power of authentic dialogue and working with people who have these very I mean.
This is like the remedy of our modern cultures, what we need right now, um and I didn't, learn this, uh, concept, uh, or or even know how? Or if I was practicing this without knowing it, uh, authentic dialogue, I didn't know about this until I met you, um, I mean, I'm, one of those people where I grew up my schools, my communities, you know, we leaned into debate, you know, even even like the ciphers you're rapping.
And you gotta, you know, one up someone else.
And you know on their lyrics even I mean, that's that's, more of a loving context, though, um, but you know, yeah, the power of authentic dialogue, it's, beautiful.
So I know, you mentioned this training, um I'm, just gonna drop this in the shower of access to this.
And if you're if you're not uh live with us and, um, you don't have access to the chat.
You can just go to growdialogue.com, um.
And we have an on-demand Workshop shop where you can learn how to resolve workplace, conflict using authentic dialogue.
Now you might remember sanjada said that it's better when all people involved have these skills and know how to you know and and also there's a facilitator involved, um, but sujana I would love for you to talk about, you know, what if you're the only person that has this skill? What does that person do then yeah.
So you know, if you're you're, the only person like, if you take advantage of the training, uh at the link that that Mariella just dropped there, um.
And and you now are equipped with these understandings about empathetic, listening and tolerance and empathetic, questioning Etc.
But the another person isn't there's, a way that you can show up and model it in a way that where you're kind of like leading the person into an authentic dialogue, um or or or yeah, because you know, like I said before, there's, there's, an energy exchange between humans.
You know, we have.
We have certain powers that, um, you know, our energy can shift other people's energy.
When we show up a certain way, and you know, it tends to work, um, you know, really really well when someone is coming at you with debate energy, and you totally come back at them with authentic dialogue energy.
And through the questions that you ask them, uh, you can lead them into an authentic dialogue, uh, just by showing up for them.
So I'll give you a very brief example, um, you know, let's just say there was a tension between Mariella and I and I could feel the tensions rising and Mariella's.
You know, wanting to be right.
She has she's upset about something in her mind she's.
You know, she's, absolutely Justified.
And and what she sees and her concerns Etc and I can understand that as well, but I want to shift it into an authentic dialogue context because I want to make sure that we both feel heard and understood and there's a level of psychological safety in this.
And that I'm not going to get ran over and vice versa.
So I'm gonna immediately stop and pause because I'm, the one that now has access to this knowledge and I'm going to say, Mariella, I understand that you're upset I understand that, you know, you have an issue with XYZ and that's, okay and I said and then I'm going to say, but can we have, uh and all can we have a dialogue, I may say, dialogue or say, can we have an alternate dialogue about this instead of a debate where we're, you know, tensions are are high.
Can we just take some time to really listen to understand each other and see if we can come to some common understanding and a common solution that we both can feel good about? Would that be? Okay for you? Yes.
Thank you for offering that Central.
Just by me asking that question that shifts the energy and not only did I ask the question, I, paused and I waited for Mariela to opt in Mariella's.
Yes, was Mariela opting in that's very important.
You cannot have an authentic dialogue unless someone opts in to do it with you.
So then I'm gonna say, okay, well can we take turns, you know hearing each other out, uh, you know, speaking and listening.
And you can you go first or I'll, say, Let's, Take, Time speaking and listen, can you go first and Maryland will say yes.
So now I got a double opt-in double, you know, energy shifting enter, you know, confirmation and then Marilyn's gonna speak speak her peace.
And when Maryland speaks her peace, I'm, listening, empathetically, I'm, leaning in I'm listening with my whole.
All of my senses, my eyes, my ears, my body language, right signaling to Mariela that I care, I, truly want to understand.
And then when Maryland is finished I'm going to ask some empathetic questions because this signals to Marilla that I heard what Mariela said, but I want to make sure I truly understand.
And that I understood in the way that Mary little wanted me to understand it, because oftentimes we'll hear something different than the way the person intended it.
So I may do a paraphrase back and say, you know, you said, XYZ and is that.
And this is what you meant is that correct.
This is what you want you.
What you meant is this, what you wanted me to take from that is that correct and Maryland will say, Yes, you heard it perfectly or well, no, you missed this part of that part, let me clarify this or that.
And then I mean, I'm probably gonna ask two empathetic questions, you know, I may ask another question based on the context of what's going on just to really double down and make sure that Mary Ella feels heard and understood.
And then when Muriel is done I'm gonna say, okay, so I took some time to really listen and understand you now I wouldn't have a chance to speak my piece and could you do the same for me? Could you really take some time to listen understand? And even ask some questions to clarify that you've heard me in the way that I want to be heard? Could you do that for me as well? Yes, yes.
And then I'm gonna do the same.
And now after that exchange and I get a chance to speak my piece and Marilyn feels like, uh, she truly truly understands me, um, then I'm gonna say something like, you know, uh now that we both have had a chance to express ourselves and feel hurt and understood, you know, let's propose some solutions moving forward that we both can feel good about is that okay, that's a great idea right? And then we go back and forth, proposing Solutions until we come up with something we both agree to now does this feel weird in the kind of awkward because it's different than the conventional flow? It may is that a bad thing, no because we're trying to shift culture, right we're trying to show up differently we're trying to you know, if we keep doing things the way they've already always been done we're going to keep getting the results that we've always gotten and we're going to keep bumping our heads and and being miserable, um, you know, bumping heads with our teammates and our co-workers and being miserable at work because there's unresolved conflict because there's a skill Gap in terms of people, not knowing how I can say that I really believe that most people in in the current climate really want to show up in ways that uh are, you know, resolve conflict in peaceful ways and get things done together, but there's a skill Gap.
So many people just don't know how.
So, by you being here today, kudos to all of you for being here, because you're learning some new skills that you can take forward, you can take with you in your workplace relationships and in your personal relationships, because it works in any relationship.
And hopefully it will it will go towards helping you all Reserve resolve, conflict, peacefully and proactively going forward, I, love it.
Thank you sunjata very, very, uh, Rich.
Information, um also, very concise, uh and I think you're hitting the nail on the head.
When you say, you know, is it a little uncomfortable? Does it feel strange probably so because we have to we have to be a little softer.
We can still be strong when we're soft, we don't need to put the wall up.
And and just you know, close all of our senses, I love that you said, you're, listening with all of your senses, um and and you're, having that you're respecting the pause, you know and asking empathetic questions, um to show that you are listening because it's true, even even when we don't realize I mean, I, see this sometimes Within Myself.
It would just people around me that everyone's waiting for the next thing that's in their mind to say so we're, not really sitting and listening.
So just even doing that, uh changes the game.
You know taking the time to listen.
So, uh, Anna's, writing.
Information I want to just see because I know, we got a lot of folks here live with us today.
Can you all drop a one in the chat? If you have practiced more authentic dialogue in your life than the other form? So drop a one if you've practiced more authentic dialogue in your life drop a two, if you've practiced more debate or discussion in your life, just want to see and there's, you know, no one's getting a bad grade here, just trying to see where we are here.
So again, drop a one in the chat.
If you've practiced more authentic dialogue, uh in your life, drop a two in the chat.
If you practice more debate or discussion in your life, all right, lots of twos, I, don't, see any ones yet, yeah, I mean, okay, great I, see, someone's.
I mean, it's such a such a, uh, it's, just gratitude for having this skill because I I've know, I've noticed it in my personal life as well, um.
And in the workplace, it just changes the game like you said, and and just to repeat what you said, we can't, keep doing the same old things that got us into these messes.
Anyway, we need to change it up and I think authentic dialogue can definitely help with that.
So, um, all right anything else.
You want to say before I move on to the next question here.
Yeah, I just want to say, you know, I saw I'm seeing a lot of twos and some ones and I appreciate what Melissa says here about two.
And and then it says, sort of Trapped into it due to the norms and I appreciate that that awareness that self-awareness and that cultural awareness, um, you know, but also, you know, I want to challenge everyone to question, the Norms, how does the Norms feel right? And when you're going into it with someone? You know? And you notice that the norm is about to happen again, you can say, hey, I learned something new.
And you know, we talk about there's a lot of talk around work about people having issues some you know around how conflict is either, uh, ignored, you know, or swept under the rug Etc and I just want to do it differently.
I feel like we have an opportunity here to shift the culture, whether it be some type of team-based meeting type conversation where you introduce these Concepts, um, or you do it one-to-one.
And you start Shifting the culture and I just want to let you all know that you do have the power individually to shift the culture just by showing up differently yourself because it's what's needed, you know, it's truly what's needed.
We need more authenticity.
We need more understanding.
And just, you know, I get the feeling that a lot of people become fearful that if they go into a space of listening to understand or this whole authentic dialogue mode that, um, it will disempower, but I promise you.
It does the opposite, you know, um, because when when people feel heard and understood again, all walls come down and tensions come down and conflict gets resolved and diminished.
So much easier when people feel hurt and understood.
So if you can model doing that for others that will encourage them to do it for you and you'll, see how conflict then becomes an opportunity to strengthen relationships and that's, often one of the things I love to share with people that conflict is an opportunity to strengthen relationships.
Because like Mariela said, earlier, conflict is inevitable it's going to arise.
Our signals are gonna get crossed because we're humans and we're, Dynamic and complex.
And we come from all the different backgrounds and cultures like I said before so knowing that it's going to happen and proactively being prepared to say, the next time that it does it's going to be an opportunity for us to get to know each other better and strengthen our relationships I love that.
So Melissa writes in the chat here as an introvert and a fast-paced environment feels so empowering to learn tools to change the Norms.
All for this.
Would you like to respond to that? Sandra Oh, just Heart part of it, beautiful, um, all right.
So let's move on to this question because I feel like, you know, let's say someone, uh, this is a made-up scenario that I'm sure maybe a lot of people might find themselves.
And hopefully not though but speak going back to this like old way of doing things where we have the hierarchy, right? Um, you know, we have the higher ups who might not have the time to sit and have empathetic questioning and listening going on.
So this question reads, what are some practical tips for speaking up or otherwise addressing it? When someone with more hierarchy than you is mistreating staff? So I see where you can put, you know, everything that you just talked about about authentic dialogue into this, um into this response here.
But can you just pinpoint? Maybe someone who might be a new hire someone who might not be? You know, up the ladder of of, you know, whatever the leadership ladder or the flow is there? Um? What would you say to this person here again, this this kind of goes back to the conversation around just really becoming aware of if you're currently in a position, uh in a in a workplace culture.
That is the best place for you that's aligned with your values and your beliefs, uh and how you want to show up in a world and is there psychological safety, et cetera.
And you know, I would ask are there currently any mechanisms for which to address these type of issues, um? Or is it really just a really old school? You know, uh, authoritarian work environment.
And if it is the chances of changing that are going to be slim to none, um.
But if there is currently some mechanisms where there is, you know with an HR function, you know, some way to address concerns around your culture, um some ways to address.
You know, maybe diversity, Equity inclusion and belonging, uh issues.
You see that there may be some type of person who holds that, um, you know, uh that context in your company that you could potentially go to and ask, you know, um what's the best angle to address this from a equity inclusion and belonging conversation standpoint, um.
And if leadership is is open to that, um, or if it's just window dressing.
And you know, you get to determine, um based on your inquiries into that.
Uh, whether again, it's a good fit.
If you're, you know, it's a good fit for you and it's a place where you can be in alignment with on a day-to-day, um so I'm, hoping that folks do have those mechanisms that they can just feel more empowered to, um, interrogate and have some questions around what their needs are, um.
And for those folks who don't feel safe for doing so, um, you know, I know it could take time.
But ultimately, um, there are organizations out there that are safe environments and I would just encourage people to continue to.
You know, try to put themselves in the position to get to the best fit, uh, organizationally and culturally I love it.
This is a great segue into this next part here, um, but I want to cover.
You know, if people are either applying for a new job or they're looking to, you know, hire new members on the team like, how can we demonstrate these skills? Or how can we show people that we think these skills are important in order to create something new right in order to help? Um, you know, culture change behavioral change all these things.
So that we're, not just as soon John was saying in the beginning of this conversation.
So that we're not just focused on the bottom line, which takes the humanity out of the situation.
And you know, it's only focusing on data and and dollars and things like that.
So, um, I I want to see before I give some responses here that I've I've written for today's conversation.
But what do you all think like if you're sitting in an interview, um, and you want to make sure that this company, um, you know, values, your voice and is able to resolve conflict in a way that isn't.
You know, dehumanizing you what what kinds of questions do.
You think are important to ask so I'll hope for a light pause to see if someone wants to to come up with a response there in the chat.
And if nothing comes to mind, no worries I've, got some some things here that I can give to you all.
But just want to know if you are in a situation where you have to interview someone or you are being interviewed, you know, what's something that you can make sure you can say or ask so that you know what you're getting into, um.
And if it's like, okay, they don't know how to resolve conflict in a way that is going to ensure my psychological safety and things like that.
You can opt out, essentially and go look for something else.
Or, you know, you can decide to not hire this person.
If you find that they're going to bring more conflict and not be open to resolving things in a more collaborative way, so let's see if someone wants to drop in the chat, yes, yeah.
And so while you all are thinking and writing things in the chat, potentially, yeah, I think, that's a great question, Mariella and I would like to know, you know, it's just an add-on.
You know, how many of you have already done that how many of you? How has this been a part of your awareness like in your interview process? Do you have questions that you ask about the culture? Do you have questions that you ask about how they resolve conflict when it arises Etc, uh, does anyone have a regular is that a part of your job searching process? And if so if you can share some tips with, you know, everyone here in terms of some of the questions you ask or some of the telltale signs that you listen out for during the interview process, yeah, that would be awesome.
If you can add those in the chat all right.
So as folks are thinking and writing in the chat, I'll share some things that I have in mind, um, okay.
So you can practice empathetic, listening and empathetic questioning in the interview, um.
And you can feel the difference if you go into another interview and no one is practicing empathetic, listening and empathetic.
Questioning, right, there's a different feeling there's this different energy.
This power that that sanjada was uh hinting at before.
You know, it's it's, a total shift of of, um, you know, conflict resolution, uh or just co-creating something together.
So you can in the interview practice, empathetic, listening and practice.
Empathetic, questioning, um, you can ask them if you are the one that's being interviewed.
You can ask them if there are any trainings or workshops that your team regularly practices in order to be able to develop and flex these skills right? And if not, um, what does that mean for you? Do you feel like? Well, it's? Okay, you you'll go into the woods blind or or do you have some skill that you can bring to the team? Well if I'm hired I have this, you know, new skill that's called authentic dialogue and I'd love to share with the team.
You know that that seems like, oh I would want to hire that person.
What is this authentic dialogue thing? We don't do this already? Um.
So you know, that's, another example, another example, can be, um.
Does your company have an employee Resource Group that leans into conflict resolution and other essential skills, uh support.
So I know, a lot of uh, not enough.
But a lot of organizations are offering, um, these, um perks, right so that if they don't have it on their team, you have the money to pay, uh, someone to teach you these skills, if it's something that their company isn't already supplying you with.
And they give you some funds to go and find someone to do that.
So that's an important question, I, think the more we ask those questions and interviews.
The more these companies will figure out that it's important to either give the perks, the employee perks to find these skills or to implement them here.
So, um, oh, I see someone has written here in the chat syndrada, can you read that out for us here? Yes, it says, can you hear me I'm off? Yeah, okay.
It says in an interview, how are decisions typically made? You can see if it's only top down, or if there's conversations around decisions, this can be for technical decisions and environment culture.
I.E is leadership interested in listening to employees, absolutely that's, a great question to ask and something to kind of explore beautiful, beautiful, all right, um.
So we've got more to say on this as you all can probably uh, see just from our enthusiasm.
And and just, you know, the wealth of knowledge that comes from when once you put your toes in the waters, you want to go all the way in because it feels good.
You know, you start to uh have different conversations with people.
You start to be more Innovative, more creative, um.
So, I know, you know we could we could definitely go down the list on a future date, which actually we are coming back to power to fly to continue this conversation.
Um, and as soon as we have that date, locked in we will send an uh we'll, put that on powerfly's website.
And you might get an email also for you to mark your calendar.
So be on the lookout there I'm just going to start to share my screen now so I can close this out here.
Sanjada did you want to add anything? Uh before I I wrote through some closing notes, yeah, um I just wanted to share the link again, um for the training.
The on-demand training, um, I'm sharing a more direct link and I saw, uh, the one that you shared earlier that would require one more step to get to the actual training page.
So I'm, just taking them directly to that link for anyone who's interested in taking the on-demand, uh training on how to resolve workplace, conflict using alternate dialogue, um, you know, on-demand training and I believe, uh, you know, you'll get, uh, some Sherm credits for taking.
That course as well and, um, yeah.
So I hope, some of you will take advantage of that and uh, you'll find Value in it.
And uh, we we hope to hear from you if you have any feedback or comments, yes, well, this has been such a beautiful session.
I knew that the hour was going to fly by.
So we've just got a couple of minutes if anyone has any last minute, Reflections or questions to drop in the chat, um, you can do so now, um, we would love to hear from you if something comes to mind later in the middle of the night tomorrow and a week feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn, or at growdialogue.com I've been dropping links in the chat throughout this conversation, um, you know, and we can't do this work without the human being right so.
And as we said, we, you know, conflict is inevitable.
So if you are experiencing conflict or you want to do this, you know, preventative work so that you can come in excited about resolving conflict.
So that you can create something new, please come and talk to us and share your ideas with us.
And so as soon Jada was saying, um, if you go to growdialogue.com, you can opt in to our newsletter, and that will let you all know when we've got more things happening for the community, um aggro dialogue that involves trainings on demand trainings in the future.
Some in-person training may happen as well.
So go ahead and check us out.
And again, you will be able to get Sherm credits for joining this session.
So I'll, just, you know, you've got you've got about one or two more minutes to grab the Sherman ID at the bottom of the screen there, um and it's just been amazing to hear what you all have to say in the chat.
Thank you for submitting.
I, see, some folks showing love in the chat saying, thank you.
Thank you so much.
Um, Melissa writes is the training appropriate for individual people who want to learn, but don't current don't have a current role or job where they're actively trying to resolve conflict, absolutely absolutely because again, it's something that you can use in any context, it's it's designed for the workplace, but you can use it in your personal relationships.
You can use it going forward and your community and your job and your organizations your, you know, Civic organizations anywhere and everywhere that you have to engage with other human beings.
This content is relevant, that's, right? That's, right? All right? Everyone it's been a pleasure.
We've a lot today.
We have shared a lot and I hope that you all are able to feel more confident, um being your authentic selves in these moments of conflict, um.
And if not like, we said, we're here to support you so have a wonderful day, enjoy the rest of your week weekend and be looking out for the next session that we're going to do here with power to fly.
So, thank you sunjata for your time.
Thank you power to fly for inviting us back and uh, spread the love.
Yeah, keep keep igniting.
Peace and creativity in this ever-changing world.
We appreciate you all peace, y'all.