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130. Transforming Workplace Conflict with Bonnie Artman Fox

Do you try to avoid conflict at all costs?

Even though that may feel easier in the moment, you're likely depriving yourself and your team of increased growth, productivity, and innovation.

Our guest, Bonnie Artman Fox reveals the surprising influence of our family upbringing on how we handle conflicts in the workplace. From the power of self-awareness to strategies for transforming conflict styles, this episode uncovers the secrets to effective conflict transformation. But what happens when an abrasive boss throws a wrench into the mix? Find out in the bonus clip, as Bonnie Artman Fox provides powerful advice for managing up, even when your leaders is abrasive.

The key moments in this episode are: 00:00:00 - The Importance of Handling Conflict, 00:02:30 - Bonnie Artman Fox's Journey, 00:07:35 - Workplace Family Factor, 00:13:24 - Transforming Go-To Reactions, 00:16:06 - The Benefits of Handling Conflict, 00:17:29 - The Importance of Vulnerability and Feedback in Team Dynamics, 00:18:50 - Strategies for Handling Tense Situations, 00:25:53 - Differentiation as a Skill for Innovation, 00:29:29 - The Influence of Family Dynamics in the Workplace, 00:33:22 - The Power of Self-Awareness and Controlling Reactions, 00:35:59 - The Power of Self-Awareness in Conflict, 00:36:29 - Resources for Understanding Conflict Styles, 00:37:31 - Practical Strategies for Handling Conflict, 00:38:01 - Equipping Aspiring Leaders for Healthy Leadership


About Bonnie:

Bonnie Artman Fox headshot
Bonnie Artman Fox

Workplace Conflict Expert & Accredited Boss Whisperer® Bonnie Artman Fox takes messy team conflict and brings teams together so they’re more effective and productive.

Drawing on decades of experience as a psychiatric nurse and licensed family therapist, Bonnie brings a unique perspective in guiding executive leaders to create healthy teams and organizations.

She is the author of the best-selling book How Did My Family Get In My Office?! Her leadership turnaround coaching program has an 82% success rate in guiding leaders to replace abrasive behavior with essential emotional intelligence such as tact, empathy, and consideration of others.


While it's not perfect, we offer this transcription by Capsho for those who prefer to read or who are hearing impaired.

00:00:00 - Teri Schmidt I remember it like it was yesterday. The sweaty palms, the racing heart, the urge to be anywhere but in the conference room, where I was getting ready to have what I knew would be a very difficult conversation. You see, I naturally hate conflict. But I do know that when it's handled well, conflict can transform a relationship. It can be generative, creating new bonds and ways of working that make teams more innovative. So anytime I can find an expert with proven techniques for handling and even transforming conflict, I jump at the chance to talk with them. My guest today, Bonnie Artman Fox, takes messy team conflict and brings teams together so that they're more effective and productive. Drawing on decades of experience as a psychiatric nurse and licensed family therapist, Bonnie brings a unique perspective in guiding executive leaders to create healthy teams and organizations. She's the author of the best selling book I love this title, how Did My Family Get in My Office? And her Leadership Turnaround coaching program has an 82% success rate in guiding leaders to replace abrasive behavior with essential emotional intelligence, such as tact, empathy, and consideration of others. I know that you'll leave this conversation with at least one new method you can try for handling that conflict that is sure to come your way just a little bit better.

00:01:32 - Teri Schmidt So let's get to it. I'm Teri Schmidt, founder of Stronger to Serve Coaching and Team Building, where we believe that leadership is all about courageously using your talents to make a way for others to courageously use theirs and this is the Strong Leaders Serve podcast.

Welcome Bonnie. I'm excited to have you on here today and excited to talk about something that maybe some people would like to avoid, and that is conflict.

00:02:16 - Bonnie Artman Fox Well, thank you, Teri, for having me. It is such an honor to be here with you. And yes, I love talking about conflict, but not for conflict's sake, but what can happen when there's healthy, productive conflict.

00:02:30 - Teri Schmidt Yes, I love that one of our values at Stronger to Serve is transforming conflict. And what you described just now is exactly what we mean by that, how you can take that conflict and turn it into growth.

00:02:43 - Bonnie Artman Fox Absolutely, yes.

00:02:45 - Teri Schmidt Well, I'd love to hear a little bit about you. I gave my audience a brief intro to you, but I'd love to hear about your journey and how you got to where you are today.

00:02:56 - Bonnie Artman Fox Well, thank you. I like to describe it as by background. I'm a psychiatric nurse and licensed marriage and family therapist, where I used to help individuals and families, couples, get along, and now I help teens get along. I worked for many years in the healthcare field and in the addiction field for a long time and found that people got better quicker when the family was involved. And that's what led me to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. And then after a few years, I had my own private practice. And I saw people coming in with upset stomachs, headaches, anxiety, sleepless nights due to dysfunctional workplaces. And about eleven years, I decided to shift then my focus as a therapist to leadership coaching, to go directly into the workplace to help equip leaders with the interpersonal skills to be better leaders. And I actually specialize in coaching leaders who tend to have abrasive behaviors. They're really, really good at what they do from a performance perspective, and yet interpersonally, they come across as condescending, belittling, overreactive, and of course you can understand the havoc that that wreaks on the culture. So I help those leaders turn around those Abrasive behaviors and develop emotional intelligence skills.

00:04:21 - Teri Schmidt That's wonderful. A couple of things you said there that really spoke to me, and that is you notice people coming in with symptoms, headaches, et cetera, because of what happened in their workplace. And I love that you shifted because we spend so much of our time at work. And yes, we can just say it's just a job and I'm just going to go there, get it done, basically stamp my time card, literally or figuratively, and come home and everything's going to be okay. But when you're spending 80% of your time somewhere, if that is not a healthy environment, it's going to impact the.

00:04:59 - Teri Schmidt Rest of your life.

00:05:00 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes, it definitely takes a toll on your emotional and mental health well being.

00:05:07 - Teri Schmidt And then in terms of coaching Abrasive leaders, I love that because you mentioned they may be so skilled in so many other areas and because of that have so much potential, but if they aren't emotionally intelligent, know, haven't honed those skills, they're not going to reach that full potential that they could reach.

00:05:28 - Teri Schmidt Hey, just a quick note.

00:05:30 - Teri Schmidt I want to let you know that.

00:05:31 - Teri Schmidt I really wanted to dig in further with Bonnie about Abrasive leaders and what to do if you were on a team that had an Abrasive leader. We didn't have time to include that in the episode, but I have included it as a bonus clip that you can get by going to the show notes. So make sure you visit our website, podcast. You'll see this episode, episode 130, and there you will find the bonus clip. So make sure you go and grab that because she has some excellent advice for how to work with and even help a leader who is being abrasive. Okay, now back to our conversation with transparency.

00:06:16 - Bonnie Artman Fox I also want to share that my specialty in coaching Abrasive leaders also comes out of my background. I had been recruited for one of my very first leadership positions, and this may resonate with your listeners that I was recruited because of my clinical skills. I was transparent and said, you know, I've never been a leader before. I'm not sure I'm the person for you. Oh, Bonnie, you'll be great. You're known for your excellent clinical skills. And besides, we're going to teach you everything you need to know. We're going to groom you and give you leadership development. Well, after a few months, it was clear that wasn't going to happen. There were closed door meetings, decisions made without my input. And I realized that I had responsibility, but I didn't have authority. And when I asked about the leadership development, there was silence, and it was causing me upset stomach, sleepless nights, anxiety.

00:07:17 - Teri Schmidt Right.

00:07:18 - Bonnie Artman Fox That at the time. This is going back many years ago. There wasn't coaching like what you specialize in today, in helping newer leaders. So I went to therapy. That was the only place that I knew to go to at the time because I loved the job. Sure, I could have left, but I also knew I was going to take me with me. And I decided that this is an opportunity for my growth. And I just dug in to learn those interpersonal skills myself. And part of that was how to navigate dealing with a dysfunctional workplace and an Abrasive leader. And it was through that journey that leave, but then we don't have the opportunity to grow from it, as you referenced earlier.

00:08:07 - Teri Schmidt Right?

00:08:08 - Teri Schmidt Yeah.

00:08:09 - Teri Schmidt It's so common that people just get promoted for their technical skills or they're just an excellent individual contributor. And of course, everyone can lead. Right. There's no skill set involved there that people need to be educated about at all. No, it's a totally different skill set. And I like how you pointed out that it wasn't just about leading those who were on your team, per se, but it's also about leading up and dealing with an Abrasive leader. And how do you then be the leader in that situation where you are staying true to your values, where you are contributing in the way that you know that you can contribute, but also, in a sense, leading up and helping to improve that work environment from where you stood?

00:09:01 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes. And a big part of that growth for myself and my own personal development was when my therapist asked me, tell me, how was conflict handled in your upbringing? And initially I thought, I'm thinking to myself, what does my family have to do with this? I'm here because of this work situation. And I began to tell her that we always had family dinners together. We had extended family gatherings. We even went to Disney World. That's great, she said, but how did your family deal with conflict? And then it dawned on me. There was avoidance, there was silence. We didn't know how to deal with upsetness. We loved each other. I love my parents dearly and my family, but we didn't have the skills of working through differences, tension, conflict. We avoided it. And that's when she said profound words that led to the writing of my book. She said, Sounds like your family's in your office. And little did I know then how many years later I would write my book, how Did My Family Get in My Office? Yeah. So my journey was what I call addressing my workplace family factor, which I define as the connection between how conflict was handled in our upbringing, impacts the way we handle conflict today as an adult and in particular in the workplace. And so that's what I focused on for my growth. And it was about learning how to speak up, how to be assertive, how to be confident and speak up for myself without coming across as aggressive. And there was definitely a learning curve in that and a journey, but it really was transformative and led me to what I do today, I'll be honest with you, is one of the most difficult and challenging times of my life and also one of the most growth producing.

00:11:08 - Teri Schmidt I love that she brought that to your awareness. And I want to dig in a little bit there. So, yeah, tell me a little bit more about the workplace family factor and how does how we handled conflict in our upbringing come into our office and what can we do about it?

00:11:29 - Bonnie Artman Fox Thank you for asking, because this is, again one of my passions initially, I'm at the risk of sounding like psycho babble, I have found this wasn't my own personal experience. I have found this both with my therapy clients as well as my leadership clients. That what was modeled to us growing up in terms of when there was tension by those who raised us, whether it was our parents, our grandparents, aunts, uncles, whoever, those who were our primary caretakers, those leave imprints on us. And studies have actually shown by age five, six, even as late as seven years old, kids decide how they're going to handle things when things get tense. And it's amazing how that becomes internalized. And please know, when I talk about the workplace family factor, it is not at all to blame, shame, or throw anybody under the bus. I truly believe those who raised us, our parents, did the best they could with what they knew at the time and also was influenced by how they were raised. Identifying our workplace family factor is simply to look back, to gain self awareness so we can be aware when we face tension, conflict in the workplace, what may be driving our reaction that isn't serving us. So, for example, my go to tendency that I learned was to be a people pleaser and to accommodate, to smooth things over, to decrease tension. Other people crack a joke or bring levity to the situation to ease the tension. Other people overreact and control in order to bring order out of the situation. We all have different ways. It's not right or wrong. It's simply gaining the awareness of what is our go to reaction and then looking at, okay, how do I want to transform this? So it better serves me to handle conflict directly and productively, right?

00:13:42 - Teri Schmidt So let's take one or two of those typical reactions, and I'd love to hear how people can transform that kind of go to reaction to better handle workplace conflict.

00:13:56 - Bonnie Artman Fox One of the most common is just good old plain avoidance, where it's uncomfortable to address conflict. We're afraid of saying something to make the situation worse. We don't know how the other person is going to respond. I'll share a story from one of the leaders in my book. How did my family get in my office? Which the book itself is a compilation of stories of real life leaders who were willing to share with me with transparency and vulnerability, how conflict was handled in their upbringing, how it impacted them as a leader, and the productive conflict management strategies they implemented in order to improve their conflict style for the better. One of the leaders is John, and in his family growing up, he described it as there was no conflict. We were always happy, everyone got along. And he did not see in his family any modeling of how to work through differences. Fast forward into the workplace as a leader, he recognized he then was avoiding conflict at all cost. And when his team was underperforming, he recognized this is about me not wanting to deal with holding people accountable and having difficult conversations. And his awareness then of limiting his team's potential is what led him to learn to enter that danger zone. That uncomfortableness of having difficult conversations in a way that led to people being able to be receptive to those conversations, saying what needed to be said with respect, with kindness, as well as directness and moving forward, as we said before, to make the team stronger and productive.

00:15:57 - Teri Schmidt Yeah. How does that make the team stronger when people are able to handle conflict?

00:16:06 - Bonnie Artman Fox Well, first of all, it's the willingness to address the Moquita. And it's not a know.

00:16:14 - Teri Schmidt That is where my mind first went. That's so funny.

00:16:17 - Bonnie Artman Fox The word Moquita comes from one of the tribes in Papua New Guinea that means the truth we know about and agree not to speak of, or in our English language, it's the elephant in the room. So often we avoid addressing the elephant or the Moquita because, as I said earlier, it's uncomfortable. We don't know how they're going to respond. And especially based on hierarchy in the organization and power, we're fearful of how will this may be used against us, or maybe there would be retaliation. It's again, going back to the self awareness of recognizing, okay, what's my go to reaction and how do I speak up and stay in that tension of conflict in a way where I'm speaking up about what's important to me, what I want, my opinion, my perspective. Staying calm, staying grounded, while at the same time listening to other people's perspective, what they want, their opinion. In order for everyone to put the tension out on the table and to acknowledge, to introduce that Moquita in order to move the team forward. And oftentimes it comes down to the team being willing to be vulnerable about just giving each other feedback about when you said X, it sounded belittling to me. And when that happens, it makes me not want to speak up with new ideas. I'm afraid of being yelled at and then for others to hear, wow, I didn't realize that's how I come across. And in many ways I like to think of it as having the receptivity and the openness to hear what's it like to be on the other side of me.

00:18:20 - Teri Schmidt What a great question. Just to reflect on, I think, almost on a daily basis. So if you have a team where, like you were just describing, someone doesn't feel comfortable speaking out in a meeting, for example, and you mentioned that you have to have that environment where people are willing to be vulnerable. But I can imagine if you are in a situation where you don't feel comfortable, it's likely that you don't necessarily have a culture of vulnerability. So how do you get started? How do you even get to the point where you are, like you said, both able to kind of hold that tension, stay in the conflict, but yet stay grounded?

00:19:02 - Bonnie Artman Fox Well, first of all, it starts with the leader's willingness to go first, the leader's willingness to model. It's okay for us to disagree, to share our different opinions. And when we do that, it's ultimately going to make us stronger. One of a simple exercise of how to stay calm and nonreactive in those tense moments is by paying attention to our breath and staying fully present, staying in the moment. If you know in advance you're about to go into a difficult conversation, spending just a few minutes of breathing in through your nose up to the count of four, and then breathing out just a little bit longer to the count of six, that four times that in of itself can help bring on the relaxation response of the nervous system. And that can help us to bring out our best thinking in our prefrontal cortex over our forehead here, that prefrontal cortex area. That's where we're able to stay calm, to see the big picture, to listen to other people's point of view that is different from ours, and move the conversation forward to resolution.

00:20:25 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I'm learning more and more about the connection between what we do with our body and what happens in our mind and how that plays out in the difficult situations and in the not difficult situations, but just how it's all related. And that's just fascinating that even just taking a few minutes of doing that breathing can have such a tremendous impact on the outcomes of the conversation.

00:20:52 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes. And a second strategy that your listeners may find helpful is saying in advance to yourself and ideally, the leader would encourage everybody on the team to say this of stating their intention of how they want to show up during this team meeting. So for example, I am willing to be vulnerable, I am willing to be open, I am willing to be receptive, to choose three words that are positive and state the intention of how they want to be, especially if the conversation gets tense. They can refer back to those three words of how they decided in advance, they made a pre commitment to themselves and to the team of how they want to show up. And that in of itself can be another really positive, productive strategy of keeping our nervous system in check in order to show up as our best.

00:21:54 - Teri Schmidt I've worked with some of my clients on just that, thinking through how you do want to show up and what messages you want to send, not necessarily verbal, but how you're acting. But I haven't necessarily talked about sharing that with those who are in the room because in a sense then they can help keep you accountable to that as well.

00:22:19 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes, and also, again, the leader would model this of modeling if anyone starts to get triggered, meaning feeling their bite, flight or freeze response, starting to get revved up, a not in their stomach of flush feelings, sweaty palms, that that would be acknowledged and to say I need a time out, or can we take a break? And then to take that break. But not to get on your email, not to check social media, to truly take a break, five minutes, walk around, get a glass of water and reflect on what's at stake here. For me, what is driving my reaction that this is bothering me so much? What would be important for me to go back in and say this is what's at stake for me. For example, I'm concerned if we go in this direction, it's going to limit this project moving forward, or this project not getting done on time, or it seems like we keep going over the same ideas, but we're not putting a plan in place to implement to get this project done. And I'm accountable for the project getting done. Those are just examples. But we would then go back into the meeting and state that more directly and that's a way to avoiding the blame game too.

00:23:52 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, that's so important to do that reflection, and I think you could even do it before the meeting as well to be sure you're going into that. What might be a difficult conversation, knowing what is at stake for me, and maybe even having some hypotheses about what's at stake for the others in the room.

00:24:14 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes. For people to share that, oh, talk about vulnerability based trust, that's definitely a step in the right direction. And we know that when there's vulnerability based trust, when people take those risks, to be forthright, to share a mistake, to admit when they were wrong, to apologize, that's what leads to productive conflict. And even if at that point the conversation gets heated and tense, it's coming from a place of truly what's best for the team.

00:24:50 - Teri Schmidt Right.

00:24:51 - Bonnie Artman Fox And it's less likely to be taken personally and then leads towards the team moving forward with commitment and accountability and ultimately results.

00:25:02 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I could see almost an exercise where you're sharing what's at stake for each individual, but also then bringing it together and what's at stake for the team, because you just mentioned it's about the team moving forward. And so I could see that being very fruitful in terms of getting to a place where conflict is handled well. And then I wanted to ask you about a little ways back, you talked about differentiation and a skill that with other skills, can help teams to be more innovative as well. So tell us a little bit about that. What is differentiation and how can that help the team transform conflict into something that maybe people want to avoid and into something that really helps the team to thrive?

00:25:53 - Bonnie Artman Fox Yes, the word itself, differentiation, comes from the father of family therapy from way back in the 50s, Marie Bowen, and he talked about it. My definition, so I'm paraphrasing it's, being in that tension of conflict, of speaking up, of what's important to you, your wants, feelings, desires, perspective, opinions, while also staying in the tension of listening to what others want and their perspective, opinions, et cetera. And really, it's staying in the tension even when you meet resistance. And that's when we're able to ideally, everyone's in control of their nervous system. They're able to truly listen to each other in order to get to the root of what is driving this conflict. And a big part of differentiation also is being okay with others thinking differently than we do. And what's fascinating about working with teams is especially when it comes to productive conflict, when we have those type of difficult, messy conversations where we don't necessarily all agree, but everybody feels that they have a say in what's important to them, what they want. At the end of the day, everyone's not going to necessarily agree on the direction, and the leader most likely will then have to choose the direction. The team overall is more likely to be committed to that direction and to the commitment going forward. Buy into the commitment going forward because they weighed in. They can buy in because they weighed in. It started with everyone practicing differentiation, speaking up, facing that tension, the resistance, staying in the messiness, and then being able to move forward.

00:27:56 - Teri Schmidt Yeah. And those are skills that don't necessarily come naturally and like you said, can be heavily influenced by how our family handled.

00:28:09 - Bonnie Artman Fox I share another story from the book. This is from Lee. Lee grew up with a father who was very angry. And in the family, there was an unspoken rule, don't approach dad when he's angry because nobody wanted to be yelled at and Lee seemed to have along the way. She was very perceptive in observing her father. She learned when to approach him and her siblings noticed that. And when they wanted something, they would send Lee and say, okay, you go ask know wanted to go they wanted to treat her to go do something. And fast forward then for Lee in the workplace as a leader, what type of boss do you think she finds herself working for? An angry boss.

00:28:59 - Teri Schmidt Yeah.

00:28:59 - Bonnie Artman Fox And that's again how we all have different examples of how our family shows up in the workplace. So that was her example. And don't you know that just as her siblings would ask her to go ask dad for what they wanted, her coworkers who didn't even know this backstory would tell her, ask her, you go ask the boss. Oh my God, for what we want. So her family was definitely in her office, right? And she shares her story and all the leaders again speak very highly of their family and it's not about hurting anybody or blame. She really views it as it was tough at times dealing with that growing up. Now I'm so grateful for it because it taught me how to deal with tense situations in the workplace, knowing the timing of when to approach difficult conversations and to work collaboratively amongst the team. And she's been a very successful executive leader in healthcare for many years as a result of gaining that self awareness of her family factor.

00:30:11 - Teri Schmidt That is fascinating. I can imagine the same skills that enabled her to be successful with her dad are the skills that are helping her to be successful or helped her to be successful when she was in that situation with the angry boss. I'm putting in quotes, but yes, I don't know if you had an opportunity to dig into that, but what were those skills that helped her to be successful in both those situations?

00:30:40 - Bonnie Artman Fox It was entering the danger zone of the tension and at times it was also setting boundaries with her coworkers of discerning what's my responsibility and what's their responsibility and not doing their work for them. That if they had something they needed to approach their boss about, it was up to the coworkers to do that. Sure, she wanted to be a team member. She was also aware of not enabling other people from developing their own skills of approaching the boss and also to be comfortable with conflict. And I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but that's how we grow is when we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations and again use breathing, do other setting and attention, other type of practices like that in order to show up as our best as we enter that danger zone. The uncomfortableness of tension, of conflict. And what's fascinating again from a nervous system perspective is it calms down our nervous system and it also then helps the mirror neurons between our brains. It helps that other person to be more receptive to us because we are showing up calm, nonreactive, in control of our reaction and not in a way that could be triggering to the other person. They're more likely to be receptive and calm themselves.

00:32:21 - Teri Schmidt So fascinating. And I read a lot about mirror neurons because of my interest in empathy and emotional intelligence, and I hadn't thought about kind of going the other way. Right. So I read a lot about us reacting to how others are presenting themselves. But that's so exciting that just by doing that, work yourself to show up calm and grounded in a situation where there may be conflict, you can help others to do the same.

00:32:54 - Bonnie Artman Fox Absolutely. The name of my business is a Conscious choice, and I was very intentional about choosing that phrase. It's based on Viktor Frankl's famous quote in between stimulus and response, there is a space, and in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom. The great basketball coach John Wooden describes it this way control the controllables your attitude and your effort. That's all we can do. We can only take control of ourselves. We have no control over what others do or don't do or how they respond. We can control ourselves. And managing our reactivity, managing our nervous system, is the foundation of how to do that.

00:33:47 - Teri Schmidt One question I wanted to ask you is so a lot of our listeners are new leaders. Many of them are women, which I know sometimes there's a stereotype that women may have even more of a challenge in terms of dealing with situations where there may be conflict. If we have a new female leader listening and she just wants to get off on the right foot in terms of making sure she sets the tone for her team, being able to handle conflict in a way that is transformative, is productive.

00:34:23 - Teri Schmidt What would be your advice to her?

00:34:26 - Bonnie Artman Fox Start with self awareness. I love this research quote study based on Tasha Yurek, who did this about self awareness, and she said found that 95% of people think they're self aware, when in reality, only ten to 15% of people actually are self aware. Isn't that something? And her studies show that self awareness is the single greatest predictor of leadership success. So being aware of your triggers, being aware of your go to conflict style, and then taking that awareness and learning the skills, the interpersonal emotional intelligence skills as the pathway to accelerate your leadership success. I look at leadership. It's both the smart side, it's the quote unquote, the business metrics, and the strategy and the dashboard of are we making progress? That's part of it. What accelerates our business strategy and the smart side of business is the healthy side. And the healthy side is our self awareness emotional intelligence skills. I'm sure your clients are intelligent, strong. Smart women who are highly skilled and as they accelerate their emotional intelligence, the sky's the limit.

00:35:57 - Teri Schmidt Yeah, I haven't heard it put that way. Smart and healthy, but you definitely need to have both. Well, we could talk a lot more about conflict. It's such a rich topic that there's so much to dig into and I especially love your take on it, looking at how we were raised influences how we show up in the workplace. But I think if we could have that self awareness and learn the skills to transform the conflict, there's so much power there. So thank you for the work that you do. And if people want to get in touch with you, they want to grab a copy of the book, learn more about the work that you do. Where's the best place for them to go?

00:36:38 - Bonnie Artman Fox Thank you for asking. Well, I have a gift for your listeners. If they would like to learn more about their personal workplace family factor, they can go to and it's a short assessment that they'll take and they'll immediately get results and then a series of emails to understand their conflict style with specific strategies of what they can do to improve their conflict style for the better. So that's one and then if they would like to read more about the leaders who have transformed their conflict style for the better, my book is, again, How Did My Family Get in My Office? And it can be purchased on Amazon. And I would love to connect with your listeners on LinkedIn as well.

00:37:25 - Teri Schmidt Excellent. Well, we'll make sure all those links get shared in the show notes, but thank you for that free gift. That sounds like something that I definitely want to go grab and learn from, and I'm sure many of our listeners will as well. So thank you very much for that.

00:37:42 - Bonnie Artman Fox You're welcome. I truly believe it's the differentiator when it comes to self awareness to really understand what our triggers are about is understanding how our family upbringing impacts us today.

00:37:56 - Teri Schmidt Thank you again, Bonnie, for coming on today and sharing your expertise with us. I know that there are a lot of listeners out there who maybe don't like talking about conflict and particularly don't like being in conflict, but the really practical strategies that you provided today are going to be so helpful. So thank you for that.

00:38:17 - Bonnie Artman Fox Thank you. It's truly been an honor to be here with you today and all the best to you and thank you for what you're doing to equip aspiring leaders, to be healthy leaders.

00:38:31 - Teri Schmidt Do you feel even just a little.

00:38:33 - Teri Schmidt Bit more equipped to handle the next.

00:38:35 - Teri Schmidt Conflict that comes your way and to transform it into something positive? I know I do. And don't forget to grab your bonus clip where Bonnie shares some really powerful advice for how to work with an abrasive boss.

Hopefully you'll never be in that situation, but based on conversations I've had with clients, family and friends. The likelihood that you'll need her advice is, unfortunately, higher than I'd like.

I hope you have a great week, and until next time, lead with this quote by Thomas Crum in mind: "The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them."


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