Discussion Assignment Instructions
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences and will focus on building conflict resolution resources for the class. Therefore, you will participate in 4 Discussions focused on:
Each discussion will be completed in 2 parts. First, the candidate will create a 500-word thread in response to the prompt. The thread must include at least one in-text citation from the textbook, scholarly journals, and/or the Bible. Then, you will submit a 200-word replies to 2 peers. Each reply should include at least one in-text citation from the textbook, scholarly journals, and/or the Bible. While differing opinions are expected, professional respect and courtesy are also expected.
The TED Talk that I have chosen is called 5 Steps to Remove Yourself from Drama at Work by Anastasia Penright.
I chose this specific TED talk because I believe it was something I could relate to. As a principal of a small school, there always seems to be workplace drama. Many of the staff members have been there for many years. Many have even raised their children at the school so there is not only the drama that comes between two coworkers but there is drama that can exist between parents. I have addressed workplace drama countless times over the last 15 years and yet there does not seem to be an end in sight for the drama.
Anastasia (Stacy) Penright is a corporate business initiatives consultant with Wells Fargo by day and a community leader by night. She is currently the HR business initiatives consultant for Wells Fargo where she has been an employee for over 13 years. She is also the founder of the non-profit company Respect my Voice. Respect my Voice was founded in 2015 and offers free community educational seminars devoted to building wealth, personal branding, health and wellness, and communication.
This TED talk was sponsored by Wells Fargo as part of an initiative with its employees. Wells Fargo teamed up with TED and 13 of their employees took part in a TED talk, The goal was to show how human empathy and problem solving can combine with technology to make the world a better place.
During this TED talk, Anastasis laid out 5 steps that can be taken to reduce or cut out drama in the workplace. The first step is to “Rewind and Reflect”. In other words, you need to replay the scenario to see exactly what your role is in the current drama situation. Most of the time we find out that we played a role in creating the drama. Self reflection is vital.
Step two is “Come Back to Reality” or it needs to stop. Most of the time we are guilty of building something up in our head that may not really exist. We read into situations too often and believe the scenario that we have fed ourselves when it is usually something totally different. Stop stressing over things that haven’t happened.
Step three is called “Vent and Release”. You need to have someone that is a confidante that you can completely trust. After you vent you need to make sure that you let it go and to then refocus onto the positive. You cannot continue to resent or it will turn into a pattern.
Step four is called “Learn a New Language” or we need to talk. Too often in today’s world we rely on text or email and we cannot read tone. It is better at times to pick up the phone or speak to the person face to face. This will prevent people from reading into things that are not there. The goal of this is to try and get some perspective on the other person.
The last and final step is called “Recognize and Protect” or we need to take a walk. There are times in a conflict when it is much better to walk away from a relationship or conversation. The goal is to prevent workplace drama and there are some relationships where the only way to accomplish this will be to walk away.
Psalm 141:3 states ” Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (New International Version, 2011). There are countless times where I have had myself and employees wish that there had been a guard over our mouth. We often would like to take back words that are constituted as gossip, that bring strife to the workplace, that tear down rather than lift up. I am hopeful that I can put some of these strategies into practice at work and reduce on the amount of drama smoothing that has become such a big part of my job description.
The TED talk that I chose was “Free Yourself When Conflict Resolution Fails” and was done by Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler. Dr. Goldman-Wetzler is an award-winning conflict management consultant and has written a book titled, Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict. Dr. Goldman-Wetzler is a prominent well-known speaker, easy to listen to, and very interesting. She provides different methods on how to deal with conflict resolution and even details ways to deal with conflict resolution when it does not succeed.
I chose this TED talk because even though we do not like to think about it, sometimes conflict resolution fails. In most instances, not everyone is going to be satisfied at the conclusion of a conflict. We spend a lot of time deciding the best methods for resolution and we try to please everyone, and we do not always know how to deal with a conflict if the resolution completely fails or does not satisfy everyone. I felt this was an important topic and one that I needed to research and understand more deeply.
Dr. Goldman-Wetzler is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Harvard University where she teaches a course on conflict freedom (Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D., 2020). Along with her TED talks she has spoken to Google and served clients including “CSC, IBM, Intel, athenahealth, Novartis, Oscar Health Insurance, Oxeon, Roche, Barclays, GE Capital, Moody’s, Cornerstone Research, Lexis Nexis, Navigant, and KPMG” (Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D., 2020). She has also served as a counter-terrorism research fellow for the Department of Homeland Security, and also received her PH.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.
Dr. Goldman-Wetzler uses a personal conflict that she has had with her mother in describing how sometimes conflicts cannot be resolved to the fact that both parties do not want to work to fix the issue. She points out that sometimes ongoing conflicts become a loop and that cycle needs to be broken. She then goes on to give three ways in order to get out of the loop. First, mapping the conflict. Second, honoring shadow values. Third, we must listen to our emotions (Wetzler, 2019). These steps she states will allow someone to free themselves of the conflict without the other person’s cooperation. By following these steps, we can break the pattern, however, we need to understand our emotions and use them to help us break the pattern. She uses the example of anger, and states, “if we normally yell at someone when angered, then change that pattern, do something differently” (Wetzler, 2019). By mapping the conflict, understanding our values, and then learning from our emotions, when you can use the information to change and break the loop.
Many times, especially in a public school setting, my co-teacher and I will discuss the upcoming day and what our goals are for each class. Within that conversation, I realize that often we may have differing opinions on how to teach a topic and although it can be frustrating I many times just write off his opinion and do things the way I think I need to. These conversations frustrate me and I am sure they do him also. After listening to Dr. Goldman-Wetzler I realize that this pattern that we have fallen into is a loop that needs to be broken. I need to understand where he is coming from and realize why some of the suggestions he makes frustrate me. I also need to take his thoughts and points into consideration and find ways to use those. This will allow him to feel more involved in the classroom and will help to feel ownership within the room (Barsky, 2017). By doing this it will allow me to free myself of this conflict while understanding his points more deeply.