In this podcast episode, Shelle Rose Charvet and George Torok discuss how to handle controversy and conflict in communication.
They emphasize the importance of intervening in controversial situations and addressing violations of group values. They also discuss conflict in the workplace and the need for open communication and permission to disagree within teams.
They highlight the phrase "permission to disagree" and its role in promoting healthy discussions. Shelle shares strategies for handling conflicts, including confrontation, agreement, and redirection. They also touch on the importance of addressing systemic racism and having uncomfortable conversations about race.
Influence and Persuasion when You Speak: Shelle Rose Charvet
Intervening in Controversial Online Groups [00:02:06]
Shelley discusses the importance of intervening in online groups when controversial or offensive remarks are made, as staying silent can imply approval.
Handling Controversy and Conflict [00:02:40]
Shelley and George discuss the goal of using words to make things better and how to deal with controversy and conflict in communication.
Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace [00:10:18]
Shelley and George explore how to address conflict in the workplace and the importance of meta conversations in improving team dynamics.
Permission to Disagree [00:11:12]
Encouraging open communication and inviting team members to express their discomfort or disagreement.
Prevention and Meta Conversations [00:13:11]
Creating an environment where conversations about conflict are encouraged and coaching individuals on effective communication strategies.
Turning Anger and Hurt into Positive Action [00:19:23]
Acknowledging conflicts, understanding the emotions involved, and channeling them towards finding solutions and making improvements.
The importance of curiosity in handling differences [00:22:08]
Shelley discusses the value of framing conflicts as differences and approaching them with curiosity and open-mindedness.
Creating an environment for better conversations [00:23:44]
Shelley emphasizes the role of leaders in fostering better conversations, acknowledging differences, and setting boundaries for acceptable behavior.
Recognizing systemic racism and the need for action [00:26:00]
Shelley reflects on her realization of being complicit in systemic racism and the importance of taking action to address it.
The Emotional and Logical Moment [00:33:13]
Speaker 1 discusses the importance of having a strategy in dealing with conflicts and the need to be logical rather than emotional.
Confrontation, Agreement, and Redirection [00:34:28]
Speaker 1 explains the three options when confronted with a conflicting statement: confronting, agreeing, or redirecting the conversation.
Taking a Redirect Approach [00:35:22]
Speaker 1 shares an example of using redirection to reframe a controversial topic and provoke a different perspective.
Dealing with Controversy and Conflict in Communication: A Conversation with Shelle Rose Charvet
In a recent episode of the podcast "Your Intended Message," I had the pleasure of engaging in a thought-provoking conversation with Shelley Rose Chavez, an expert in influencing and persuasion. Our discussion centered around the topic of dealing with controversy and conflict in communication, particularly in online groups and workplaces.
The Importance of Intervening in Controversial Situations
Shelley and I delved into the significance of intervening in controversial situations. We agreed that silence can often be misconstrued as condoning offensive or racist behavior. It's crucial to speak up when someone crosses the line, but it's equally important to address the violation of group values rather than attacking the person directly.
We also touched on the importance of choosing your battles wisely and using humor to diffuse tense situations. However, we cautioned against making light of sexist or racist remarks. Instead, we encouraged inviting people to continue the conversation in a respectful manner and promoting factual discussions over personal attacks.
Conflict in the Workplace: The Need for Meta Conversations
When asked about conflict in the workplace, Shelley shared her insights from working with various organizations. She often finds that the lack of meta conversations, or discussions about the process of communication itself, is the root cause of conflicts. Drawing a parallel to family dynamics, she suggested that addressing the underlying issues and promoting open communication can help resolve conflicts within teams. We both agreed that firing everyone is not a solution and that it's important to approach conflicts with a problem-solving mindset.
Prevention and Cure: The Role of Open Communication
We discussed the importance of prevention and cure when it comes to handling conflicts. Shelley emphasized the need for open communication and permission to disagree within a team. She believes that encouraging team members to express their discomfort or differing opinions can lead to better solutions and a more productive and enjoyable work environment.
I brought up the phrase "permission to disagree," which I associate with the military. I believe that more organizations should adopt this phrase as a standard operating procedure to promote healthy discussions and reduce conflicts. Shelley agreed and highlighted the importance of having conversations rather than confrontations.
Leaders: Encouraging Conversation Over Conflict
We also discussed the role of leaders in encouraging conversation instead of conflict. Shelley suggested that leaders should ask their team members if they are comfortable talking to each other and offer guidance and coaching if needed. She emphasized the importance of discussing the process of communication and finding strategies to address conflicts effectively.
The Cure for Conflicts: Framing Differences as Opportunities
Shelley believes that it is the leader's responsibility to frame differences as opportunities for curiosity rather than conflicts. She shared an example of a board meeting where two individuals had opposing opinions. Instead of engaging in counter-arguments, they asked each other questions to understand the reasoning behind their perspectives. This led to a reframing of the issue by a third party, demonstrating the power of better conversations.
Addressing Systemic Racism: The Need for Uncomfortable Conversations
While embracing diversity and differences of opinion is essential, Shelley highlighted the importance of addressing systemic racism. She shared her personal experience of learning about the challenges faced by black individuals and the need for uncomfortable conversations about race. I added to the conversation by sharing my own experience of being aware of racism when I traveled to Asia and stood out as a white male.
Being Prepared for Conflicts: Confront, Agree, or Redirect
Shelley emphasized the importance of being prepared for conflicts before they happen. She identified three options when confronted with a conflicting statement: confront, agree, or redirect. Confrontation involves expressing disagreement or discomfort with what was said. Agreeing is not always about explicitly saying "yes." It can also involve staying silent or going along with the statement, which can be seen as agreement in certain contexts. The third option is redirecting, which requires creativity and preparation.
In conclusion, our conversation underscored the importance of open communication, the role of leaders in fostering a safe environment for expressing opinions, and the need for preparedness in handling conflicts.