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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Eric Svaren

What Every Project Needs to Succeed

At a large public institution, a high-profile team is on the verge of implosion. Morale is abysmal. The team has broken into factions. Because this team deals with the most complicated, high stakes situations in the institution, the team's problems have pushed people's level of stress through the roof. Gossip is rampant. People are afraid of being attacked. Some team members won't talk to one...

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Why Retreats Don't Work and What to do About it

At a non-profit start-up, the entire staff meet to review their progress and address strategic and tactical challenges. Deep conversations emerge about the value the non-profit creates, people's personal commitment to the mission, and how to continue to grow sustainably, without burning out staff or burning up working capital. After two days, participants leave new clarity and understanding about...

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How Stories Keep Us in Conflict

One thing I've learned from working in conflict resolution and team building is: People work hard to stay in conflict. The players in any given situation expend extraordinary energy to prevent themselves from approaching someone, broaching a topic, truly listening and understanding—and, ultimately, from finding a resolution.

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When Conflict Is Good (And When It's Not)

Emotional conflict is profoundly unproductive and destructive, but cognitive conflict, which involves disagreements over ideas, decisions, or actions, helps to refine and tighten ideas in order to come to the best decision possible.

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When Emotions Run High

How do you handle broken work relationships? What do you do when conflict seems to be bubbling just under the surface? And how do you begin to restore trust and respect when anger and frustration are running high?

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Dangerous Decisions

Managers often need to make a decision and move on while also making room for staff who want to be involved in the decision. Involving people is risky, but leaving people out of the process also presents big problems. What is a decider to do?

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Negotiate a Labor Contract and Repair Relationships at the Same Time

In the face of limited revenues and greater demand for services, labor relations can be difficult. But interest-based bargaining allows management and labor to collaboratively identify their unique and shared interests.

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