5 Things I Learned from Conflict Resolution in the Workplace with Amy Gallo

By: Traci Picard

October 28, 2016


Recently we here at Social Enterprise Greenhouse  had the opportunity to host  Amy Gallo, a writer and editor at Harvard Business Review who also helps people and organizations deal with conflict in their lives and work. The workshop was about conflict resolution in the workplace, although the information shared applies to other types of conflict, too. Amy Gallo was a great speaker who engaged us deeply and gave us practical tools and useful information. The recurring theme of empathy resonated with me, especially important during these difficult political times.

  1. Conflict, like many other problems, may be broken down into smaller pieces in order to better understand and digest. It can seem like a big tangle of emotions to tackle, but by taking the tangle apart it might start to feel more manageable.
  2. People bring their personal styles of conflict management into any exchange, and it may be easier to understand each other-and ourselves- if we take a moment to figure out what our own and our co-workers’ styles are, and how they adapt.
  3. Don’t rely solely on e-mail to resolve conflict. Although it’s a convenient way to communicate in office settings, it carries the constant danger of misunderstandings due to lack of context. Face-to-face still has merit.
  4. We can help prepare for conflict management before it happens by engaging in mindfulness, practicing letting go and breathing. How many times have you been in a tense situation and noticed that you’ve forgotten to breathe? When we make a habit of grounding ourselves before speaking, we can revert back to that deep, cleansing breath in a time of need rather than grinding our teeth down to nubs.
  5. Quote of the day: “Think of yourself as an anthropologist, trying to study ‘What do these other people around me think and feel?” If we enter an encounter with curiosity towards what drives others, we just might find ourselves engaged in learning and growing through the conflict and the resolution process.

For more information, check out  Amy Gallo’s book as well as this article and this article, all relevant to the subject of conflict resolution.



Traci Picard
Venture Development Assistant

Traci Picard is a VISTA serving as Venture Development assistant here at SEG. She comes from the world of alternative health, running a small herbal business and teaching classes like Critical Thinking for Herbalists and Asking Better Questions. Traci is also a writer pursuing a Journalism degree, a mother of 3 and a passionate fan of books and the Public Library. Born in Providence, she has lived all over but continues to return home.

Contact: tpicard@segreenhouse.org