image of 2 people in office looking tense with the title: Resolving conflicts at work

Resolving Conflicts at Work

image of 2 people in office looking tense with the title: Resolving conflicts at work

How do you resolve conflicts at work? Or in your personal life, for that matter? There are four ways to go about it:

Listen to this post. Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on the BIGG Success Show Podcast (Runtime 6:25)

Blow up

Go ahead. Get mad. Get it off your chest. You’ll feel better. Who cares about anyone else?

As you might guess, this is one way to handle conflict. But it’s not an effective way to resolve them.

Throw up

Okay, not in a literal sense. But you can spew negativity to anybody and everybody who will listen.

Oh, with one exception – you won’t talk with the person or persons who have it in their power to resolve the conflict.

Clam up

Don’t say a word. Just take it. Internalize everything. Deal with it. And feel your blood pressure rise along with the acid reflux.

This is another way to handle a conflict but not one that’s recommended.

We saw a great post by Megan Hustad on Fortune’s site. It explains how silence can cost you in another way. With jobs still hard to come by, she points out that a lot of people are afraid to rock the boat.

The irony is that you may be better off doing just that. She quotes Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

He says while workers feel clamming up increases their job security, the opposite is true. Job security is increased by dealing with conflicts at work in a way we haven’t yet talked about.

Step up

Deal with conflict directly but gingerly. Talk to the person or persons who can do something about it. Be the emotionally mature adult in the room of people we’ve discussed above.

People who resolve conflicts are just as valuable as people who find a resolution to any other problem. Demonstrate how valuable you are by tackling issues head on.

  • Know the purpose of your conversation before you ask for it. The critical point-of-view is that you are having a conversation, not a confrontation.As Grenny points out, you can show respect while being candid. You can be honest without being brutal. You can be assertive while being civil.
  • Focus on fixing the problem, not the blame. Explain the situation in a way that doesn’t make anyone defensive. One of the best ways to do this is to fix the blame on things, not people.Here’s a model: When X happened, people felt Y. For example, when the policy changed, people felt taken advantage of.

    Yeah, because another way of saying that is: You changed the policy. Now everyone thinks you’re a jerk who is out to screw them over.

    Would you get defensive if someone said that to you? Most people would. Who could blame you? So keep the conversation productive with the words you use.

  • Practice, practice, practice before the actual conversation.  You can do it in a mirror while you’re putting on your makeup or shaving in the morning. Watch and listen while you do so you can make sure you’re conveying the message with the tone of your voice and your facial expressions.Find someone you can role play with. Simulate the environment as closely as possible. If you will be sitting, sit while you practice. If you will be standing, stand. You want to work on your body language while you rehearse.

If you don’t have any conflict, you’re probably not doing enough. Conflict is a healthy thing. Conflict is an opportunity.

But only if you step up. It will make you stand out from the crowd which leads to BIGG success!

What tips do you have for resolving a conflicts at work?

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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.



Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!


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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Wealth is in the Eyes of the Beholder

santa-claus This is our twist on the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Many people are enduring a rough holiday season. We may not be spending as much as we normally would. We see that as a bad thing. We don’t want to disappoint our kids.



Sometimes we forget how much we already have. As we get older, we put expectations on ourselves and judge ourselves based on what we have and the gifts we can give.

The cardboard box

Have you ever seen a little kid get his or her first bigg toy – the one that comes in the bigg cardboard box? Have you ever seen a kid put the real toy aside and start playing with that cardboard box? They turn it into a fort and have fun with it for hours, playing with their friends. Through the eyes of us adults, that cardboard box is extraneous. Through the eyes of a kid, the cardboard box is a valuable toy itself.

We develop our point-of-view from our experiences. Obviously, we want to learn from them, but we need to be careful not to take away the wrong lessons. So this holiday season, try looking at the world through the eyes of a child again. Look at things as if you were seeing them for the first time. Be innocent again.

Through the eyes of a child

We want to share a touching story comparing how we perceive things as adults to how we might see them through the eyes of a child. A rich dad wants to show his daughter how less fortunate people live. So he took his daughter out to the country, where they spent a couple of days and nights on a farm with a family most people considered very poor. Here’s the conversation as they drove back to the city …


How was the trip?



It was great, Dad.



Did you see how poor people live?



Oh yeah.



So, tell me, what did you learn?



girlI saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them. We have a staff that serves us, but they serve others. Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.


As you might imagine, the girl’s father was speechless. He thought he would teach his daughter a lesson … it turns out that it was he who needed to learn one.


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We really appreciate you checking in on us today. Join us next time when we talk about the best present of all. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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(Images of dad and daughter in today's post by stockbroke)

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You and Only You

By Bigg Success Staff

Life Skills


You were put on this earth to do something bigg. You remain on this earth because your mission isn’t yet complete. You, and only you, can accomplish that one thing that you are here to accomplish. The entire world depends on you!

You were born with a unique genetic make-up. No other person in the world has the exact same code as you. For every inherent disadvantage, you were given a greater and more significant advantage. You, and only you, can discover your unique talents.

Your set of experiences is uniquely your own. No other human being has seen everything you have seen, heard everything you have heard, touched everything you have touched, smelled everything you have smelled, or tasted everything you have tasted. Some of your experiences have made you unhappy. Others have brought joy. You, and only you, can draw upon these personal experiences.

You have a unique point-of-view. No other person in the world thinks about things exactly like you. They can’t! You are called upon to test your perceptions against objective reality. You, and only you, form your opinions and these opinions can change the world if you choose.

You, and only you, can make the difference that you are here to make. So please, keep on your mission. We’re all counting on you!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.


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Spotting Consumer Trends

By Bigg Success Staff

Life Changes


It’s not easy to identify trends. We’re not talking about the latest article of clothing worn by a model going up and down the catwalk. That may be interesting, but is probably less important than spotting trends that affect your future and the future of your business or industry.

If it’s difficult to spot trends, it’s even harder to apply that trend to something meaningful. Positioning yourself to ride the wave. There’s a great article at on the basics of spotting trends. They offer 5 tips to spot trends:

Tip 1: Know why you’re tracking trends.

Tip 2: Have a point of view.

Tip 3: Weave your web of resources.

Tip 4: Fine-tune your trend framework.

Tip 5: Embed and apply.

You’ll get a detailed explanation of each tip along with tons of examples. It’s definitely worth your time. Check it out at!

1100 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

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