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How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress by Anna Maravelas

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Chapter Nine
There Are Two Dogs Inside of Every Man: The One That Dominates Is the One That’s Fed
The ancient Chinese gave us this adage, and I often think of it when I’m working with individuals or teams bent on destroying other people’s careers. When people behave defensively or aggressively, I know the other dog—the dog of empathy and cooperation—is lying in the wings, waiting. If I can put the distressed person at ease, reduce his or her fears, and identify a way to feed the dog that wants to be appreciated and connected, it emerges with relief.
People often avoid tackling tense issues head on because they fear they will make the situation worse. Negative past experiences have convinced them that direct communication is too risky, or that ...

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