Viewing Workplace Conflict as an Opportunity for Growth

Every workplace conflict is rife with positive and negative potential.  It is a choice (conscious or not) whether to make it a source of learning and growth or simmering frustration, stagnation and possible litigation.

In the gender discrimination class action lawsuit filed last week against Greenberg Traurig there is an allegation that

“at a nationwide shareholder meeting in September 2008, roughly a dozen of the Firm’s most highly accomplished female shareholders performed a song about male shareholders cheating them out of originations and decreasing their total compensation.”

The lawsuit claims that the law firm’s senior management did nothing in response.  Click here for a copy of the Complaint.

Query whether Greenberg’s management team missed an opportunity to embrace the simmering conflict and engage in a constructive dialogue about the issues.

What were the lyrics of the song?


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Viewing Workplace Conflict as an Opportunity for Growth — 2 Comments

  1. Lorene,
    Your blog is always interesting and timely, and this posting is no exception. It is not at all unusual for employees to offer clues to their thinking that employers miss – to their later regret. Employers can head off many workplace issues by keeping the lines of communication open and really listening to employees.

  2. Of course management missed an opportunity to embrace the conflict and use it to improve the situation! They are human and they are attorneys (no offense). This means they are twice as likely to focus on being right (or justified or dominant, etc) vs. seeking to understand or solve the problem. The fight or flee part of our brain (amygdala) and the lawyer training and culture predisposed them to want to fight to justify their particular position even if the method was to ignore the opportunity to build a relationship.Collaboration and relationship restoration go against our natural instincts. But that’s the point, really, isn’t it? Going against our animal instincts is the very thing that allows us to reach our higher ideals. Without making those higher ideals a priority, however, the “right” behavior is never deployed.