383: Resolving conflict is a critical skill for workplace relationships with guest expert Dr. Paul White

Dr. Paul White, author of Making Things Right at Work- successfully managing conflict at work

Bill Ringle and Dr. Paul White discuss insights around expectations, indirect communications, burnout, and rebuilding trust for small business leaders.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways from this Interview

  1. Conflict does not happen instantaneously. There are minor signs of tension rising, like how some of our co-workers behave differently towards us than they usually do. Recognize the signs and acknowledge the issue before it escalates.
  2. When we deprive ourselves of the things that replenish us, such as sleep, rest, or a break in between tasks to keep up with the unrealistic expectations we set in our heads, we are leading ourselves to the path of burnout.
  3. Practice direct communication as it does not only gives clarity with what you need and what you mean, it is only a sign of respect, that you trust this person to listen, and you are not bypassing them.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Paul shares his insights on avoiding or minimizing conflict in the workplace.[01:05]
  • Workplace conflict is the result of conflicting goals. Paul shares the telling signs that conflict is brewing and why these happen. [02:29]
  • In his research with Dr. Chapman, when they were writing The Five Language of Appreciation In The Workplace, they discovered that the same language that gives people affirmation could be the same language that could hurt them. [03:27]
  • If we unintentionally offend someone we work with, Paul advises us to use the ‘I’ statement to resolve the conflict before it escalates further. [04:48]
  • Paul shares his own story with Steve, a guy he worked with. Despite being good and hardworking, their personality and working style do not match his, making them uncomfortable working together. [06:22]
  • Psychology says that empathy is not inborn; instead, it’s a form of perspective-taking we develop during the progression of our life. Paul elaborates on why our current culture struggles in developing empathy. [09:15]
  • Managers can teach and develop empathy to avoid conflict, see things granular, observe, and put themselves in the role. [11:40]
  • The expectation we create for ourselves when in conflict with reality can lead to burnout. [15:29]
  • When we deny things that replenish us to satisfy our expectations, bad only worsens. [17:07]
  • Paul explains why indirect communication is a sign your workplace is toxic. [19:27]
  • Paul gives some reasons why direct communication is still avoided in most workplaces despite being the best way to be clear with what we mean. [20:45]
  • Being critical is different from being condescending. [22:34]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [27:20]

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Expert Bio

Dr. Paul White is an author, speaker, and psychologist, who helps “make work relationships work.”

He is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman and his book, The Vibrant Workplace, had been released in April 2017.

He created and developed The Motivating By Appreciation InventoryAppreciation at Work Implementation Kit, and The Toxic Workplace Prevention & Repair Kit which helped many workplaces to become an environment full of positivism and grow towards health.

He also co-authored various titles such as Rising Above a Toxic Workplace and “Sync or Swim” with Dr. Chapman & Harold Myra.

Dr. White is called upon as an expert resource by U.S. News & World Report (online), BusinessWeekEntrepreneur.comFastCompanyFortune/CNN.com , FoxBusiness.comHuffington Post LIVEChicago Tribune, and BizJournals.

Contact Info and Social Media for Paul White

Resources Mentioned

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed so you can explore further.

Books Authored by Paul White

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace Rising Above a Toxic Workplace The Vibrant Workplace Making Things Right at Work by Paul White

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