As you may know we are big fan’s of Bill Eddie and the High Conflict Institute and really support their work in helping to understand and work with high conflict people in your family and workplace. We greater understanding we hope that we all avoid growing more narcissists and other high conflict people!
Bill has a September special on It’s All YOUR Fault at Work
It’s down from $19.95 to $14.95 so might be worth picking up. Link to the publishers website
There are some other really interesting titles for sale on this specialist publishers site. We’d be really interested in book review posts if anyone has something fabulous that they have read recently and recommend to other mediators.
CARS and BIFF
While we are looking at all things Bill Eddie you might be interested in this five page feature article about addressing High Conflict in the Workplace. Written by Georgi DiStefano and Bill Eddie it describes some strategies that have proven to be effective when dealing with High Conflict Personalities and behaviour.
If you haven’t read any of Bill Eddies work here is a brief summary to whet your appetite
- High conflict personalities and behaviour refers to people who exhibit uncontrolled emotions, extreme reactions and are very prone to identifying targets of blame and avoiding any personal responsibility for their actions and their results, unless the results are positive in which case they will take all the credit. The four distinguishing behaviours are:
- preoccupation with blaming others
- all-or-nothing thinking
- unmanaged emotions and
- extreme behaviours
read the article for the secondary characteristics if you’re thinking that you might be trying to cope with someone with a high conflict personality.
- The BIFF response is a technique that you can use to defuse hostile written communication. We’ve used it and know that it works!
- Brief – so it doesn’t trigger a hostile response
- Informative – clear information not defensive, emotional, opinionated or argumentative. Frustrating but it’s better that way!
- Friendly – for example thanking them for their response and a friendly closing comment such as “Have a good weekend”
- Firm – either end the conversation with your response and if that is not possible offer two choices and ask for a reply by a specific date.
- The CARS Method this approach can be used as a step by step progression or elements of it individually as long as you don’t skip the connect stage!
- Connecting – it is really important to connect with an EAR statement before trying to address the issue or situation. EAR stands for Empathy, Attention and Respect. e.g “I can see how upset you are (empathy). I will pay attention to your concerns (attention). I really respect your efforts to solve this problem (respect) Seems too overt? Try it, it won’t be.
- Analysing options – this step helps the person to review their immediate and long term options.
- Responding to misinformation – people who engage in High Conflict stir up other people and create fear and distress. They have the ability to recruit other people to their cause until their extreme behaviour highlights to their supporters that all is not as they’ve been told. While they are engaged these recruited Negative Advocates help to spread the workplace disruption even through they may not be high conflict themselves. It is important to set the record straight and deal with misinformation.
- Setting Limits – workplace policies and procedures can form the foundation for setting behavioural limits and consequences. It is important that you are very clear about what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and what the consequences are if inappropriate behaviour is used.