I am often confronted by participants in Mandt System workshops with difficult questions and situations regarding a person served and/or a workplace conflict with a coworker. While I try to give the best answers I can, I realize that there is rarely a simple answer. The work that human services professionals do is not easy, and in my experience the best solutions usually come from the people involved in the situation.
Anytime we are managing conflict in the workplace, whether it be with a coworker or person served, we need to first focus on managing ourselves so we can avoid doing things that escalate the situation further. This includes consistently treating others with dignity and respect and communicating with assertiveness and authenticity. The skills we must use require work on our part which is part of what can make the process so difficult especially when we are in the middle of the conflict and the defensive parts of our brain are activated.
In The Mandt System, we focus on establishing safety in conflict situations so that we can support others to de-escalate. Once we have all de-escalated, then it will be easier to implement the positive behavior supportapproaches need to help find solutions to the difficult situations we encounter.
Doug ZehrVogt – Mandt System Faculty