Actively Managing Conflict and Negativity in the Workplace

Work can be hard sometimes. It’s even harder when you have to deal with conflict and negativity from your fellow employees (and how’s your attitude been lately?). Just as kryptonite saps Superman of all his superpowers, “toxic employees” can sap the energy right out of the workplace. These toxic employees – true to the name – can poison the business atmosphere where you work, and can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work effectively. The toxicity is insidious, and can drag everyone into an abyss of low morale, negative emotions, and decreased productivity.

This workshop will help you recognize the characteristics of toxicity and negativity – and offer over a dozen specific ideas and action steps for managing conflict, dealing with inappropriate and intimidating behavior, and developing more productive relationships through the positive use of “negativity relievers”.

Program Outline (The Map is Not the Territory):

I. Conflict Overview: Getting on the Carousel
A. What is Your Organization’s Strategy for Managing Conflict?
B. Key Questions: A Model for Framing Conflict
C. Listening as a Key Building Block
D. Six Parts of the Conflict Structure
E. The Rope Exercise and the Conflict Quiz

II. What is Intimidating or Inappropriate Behavior?
A. Supportive Work Environments – Some Guidelines
B. Workplace Bullying Quiz
C. The Defective Pressure Cooker Syndrome
D. A Lesson from Dr. Seuss
E. Emotional Intelligence and the ABCDE Model for Behavior Change

III. Skills for “Framing” Negativity, Toxicity, and Conflict
A. The A.R.S.E.
B. Working with Toxic Employees (Beyond the Negative!)
C. A Lesson from Dr. Seuss
D. Positive Sentiment Override vs. Negative Sentiment Override
E. The Four Horsemen of Negative Emotions

IV. Positive Ways to Deal w/ Negative People
A. Psychological Jiu Jitsu and “I” Messages
B. Management vs. Resolution
C. Situations and Behaviors vs. Personalities and Adjectives
D. Fight vs. Flight and Facts vs. Frame
E. Workplace Case Studies

V. Solving Problems and Taking Action
A. How’s Your G.R.I.T.?
B. Seven Steps to Solving Problems
C. 65 Good Ideas
D. Are You Going to Abilene?
E. Keep Smiling

The program is highly interactive in nature, and attendees will participate in a number of “hands-on” activities throughout the day. They will also leave the program with several specific action items that can be carried forward in their personal and professional lives.

Presenter: Robert K. Bitting, Ph.D., L.M.H.C.

Please register on the SWFLN CE Calendar at

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