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How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress

Book Description

An alarming 88% of Americans cite hostility, desk-rage, and workplace incivility as top concerns. How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress will help executives, supervisors, and managers-and the people that work for them-protect pride, profit and productivity from these disabling emotions.

Most individuals react to workplace frustration with nearly invisible habits that drive wedges between people and groups. And workplace aggravations are constant—even just a handful a day means thousands per year, per employee!

Responding to frustration with blame and defensiveness is not human nature; it is a reflexive response that can be changed. How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress shows you how to protect productivity and maintain unity between leaders and employees, even during periods of uncertainty and rapid change.

Protect your career and workplace from the hidden costs of workplace tension and hostility. With How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress, you will learn how to:

• Handle the daily onslaught of frustration without losing momentum, mood or confidence.

• Avoid the conflict and cynicism that drains profits, resources and relationships.

• Discover why anger makes people irrational, lonely, and depressed and how to quickly calm agitated colleagues and customers.

• Experience the fiscal and personal benefits of being “hard on the problem and soft on the people.”

• Replace bitterness about the past with shared responsibility for the future.

• Create a blame-resistant, emotionally resilient workforce.

How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress is the insider’s guide to achieving fiscal and emotional successes that energize and sustain workforces. For more than a decade, these universal principles have saved organizations millions of dollars.

Anna Maravelas, of, is an expert in restoring trust and enhancing profitability. She has delivered hundreds of keynotes and seminars in the U.S. and abroad, and her presentations are consistently cited as “best of the conference.” Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, police departments, government bodies and family-owned businesses. Her work has been featured on numerous business radio shows and in a variety of print media. She resides in St. Paul, MN

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Dedication
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter One - The Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People: Getting ...
    1. Hostility is on the rise
    2. Irritability and hostility at work
    3. Stress, incivility, irritability, and rudeness
    4. Got a minute?
    5. Costs of incivility
    6. Predictable, pervasive errors
    7. Don’t just resolve destructive conflict—eliminate it!
    8. Duped by the dazzle of contempt
    9. Blame and turf wars are not human nature
    10. Trench-validity and stickiness
    11. Frustration and “heart hassles”
    12. Three cultures at work: Hostile, helpless, and hearty appreciation
    13. In which category would you put your team?
    14. The most important habit you bring to the table
  9. Chapter Two - Anger Makes You Stupid, Lonely, and Depressed: The Stinky ...
    1. I’m frustrated and it’s your fault!
    2. Hitler and reflexive, irrational response to frustration
    3. Inflammatory thinking and flooding
    4. Contempt contaminates employees and clients
    5. After being treated with disrespect, 60 percent of customers take their ...
    6. Predictable workplace targets and scapegoats
    7. Anger is a feeling; hostility is an attitude
    8. Toxic anger, hostility, and heart disease
    9. At 100 heartbeats per minute, we can no longer hear
    10. Males rage—and rescue—more often
    11. Anger makes you stupid
    12. Is yelling effective?
    13. The oblivious driver and the reflexive response
    14. I’m frustrated and it’s my fault
    15. Depression, work, and health
    16. The stinky twins: Blaming others and blaming self
    17. The flooded boss
    18. Hostility and the fear of unworthiness
    19. The Rabbi and the Grand Dragon of the KKK
    20. Hostility brings relief from self-loathing
    21. Hostility collapses into hopelessness and despair
    22. Without positive energy, two dismal choices remain
    23. Sending the stinky twins to reform school
  10. Chapter Three - Curiosity Makes You Smart, Sexy, and Successful: The Most ...
    1. Roosevelt: Reflective, analytical, and effective
    2. The oblivious driver and the reflective reaction
    3. “BIBS”
    4. The health and happiness benefits of appreciation and affection
    5. Love and health
    6. Affection and the immune system
    7. The helper’s high
    8. Wealth and well-being: John D. Rockefeller
  11. Chapter Four - Unspoken Reasons, Hidden Realities: Stories That Stick
    1. The exasperated RN
    2. The shut-out employee
    3. The traveler who reeked
    4. Arm candy
    5. The missing supervisor
    6. The defiant power plant operators
    7. The scowling father of the bride
    8. The brooding CEO
    9. Assumptions
  12. Chapter Five - Intelligent Fools: The Hidden Price Tags of Irritability and Contempt
    1. Cost #1: Mind-boggling amounts of money are wasted
    2. Cost #2: Credibility suffers
    3. Cost #3: Direct reports and colleagues silently resent blame
    4. Cost #4: Blame turns potential allies into enemies
    5. Cost #5: Blame becomes an automatic response
    6. Cost #6: Blame demoralizes employees and destroys pride in work
    7. Cost #7: Colleagues and direct reports no longer trust you
    8. Cost #8: Partners-in-crime sell you down the river
  13. Chapter Six - A Touch of Genius and a Lot of Courage: How to Unplug From ...
    1. Switch channels and activities
    2. Train your brain to stop flooding
    3. Identify your targets and triggers
    4. Six ways to extinguish inflammatory thinking
    5. EASE: Calming a flooded employee or customer
    6. Revisiting the case of the angry police officer
    7. In your words
    8. Saving your time and sanity
  14. Chapter Seven - If I’m Not Part of the Problem, There Is No Solution: Breaking ...
    1. Negative reciprocity is reliable and predictable
    2. Positive reciprocity is reliable and predictable
    3. Christmas morning Marine
    4. Hostility shows
    5. Reciprocity flows: Cycles of Contempt and Courage
    6. A Cycle of Contempt: Project managers and architects
    7. A Cycle of Courage: Project managers and architects
    8. A Cycle of Contempt: The crew chiefs and their new hires
    9. A Cycle of Courage: The crew chiefs and their new hires
    10. A Cycle of Contempt: The alienated son
    11. A Cycle of Courage: The alienated son
    12. A Cycle of Contempt: The angry police chief and the press
    13. A Cycle of Courage: The angry police chief and the press
    14. Cycles of Contempt on large scales
    15. You are the center of your universe
  15. Chapter Eight - Hard on the Problem, Soft on the People: The True Causes of ...
    1. Human nature is vulnerable to the system
    2. Changing systems changes behavior
    3. First: Is there a baby in the back seat?
    4. Second: Look at your systems and processes
    5. The genius that dissed the president
    6. Menopause Molly
    7. Third: Look for conflicting performance measures
    8. Fourth: Many inappropriate behaviors are the result of low skill, insight, or courage
    9. An effective attitude for addressing problems
    10. Hard on the problem, soft on the people
    11. “All the managers are immature!”
    12. The thinking pattern that will save your sanity and productivity
  16. Chapter Nine - There Are Two Dogs Inside of Every Man: The One That Dominates ...
    1. 1. Open the conversation in the energy of appreciation
    2. 2. State the facts
    3. 3. Ask the other party for help in understanding his or her behavior
    4. 4. State the ideal behavior
    5. 5. State the consequence or open negotiations
  17. Chapter Ten - You Can Be Effective or Self-Righteous—Pick One: Five Smart ...
    1. Retaliation or reconciliation: Nelson Mandela
    2. The advantages of avoiding blame
    3. As we age: Wisdom or ignorance?
  18. Chapter Eleven - Creating Cultures of Appreciation: Respect, Pride, and Fiscal Responsibility
    1. Preserving goodwill
    2. World-class appreciation
    3. Building lasting relationships Ryan Companies US, Inc.
    4. Best practices
    5. Staying in touch
  19. Appendix - Transforming the Enemy
  20. About the Author