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The science of lifelong resiliency, happiness, teamwork, and trust.
Ben Martin

“But Isn’t Conflict Good?” An Introduction to Conflict IQ

July 28, 2016   Conflict IQ

In ten-plus years of working at Thera Rising, I’ve heard about two responses to telling someone I work in workplace conflict resolution. One is, “Wow, we could use you where I work!” The other is, “But isn’t conflict good?” The short answer to that question is, “Well, yes. Kind of. But a lot of the […]

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Ben Martin

We’re Back Online!

July 17, 2017   Conflict IQ

Greetings! As you may have noticed, we’ve had a lengthy lapse in activity here at The Conflict-Savvy Brain. We had a long string of trouble with website hacks that brought us offline, but we’re happy to report that things are back up and running once again. Thank you very much for your patience, and we look […]

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Ben Martin

Your Brain on Adrenaline

February 7, 2017   Conflict IQ

Pop quiz: How similar are these two situations? Situation 1 A twig snaps behind you. Whipping your head around, you see a mighty tiger barreling down on you at full speed. You and your hunting party stand your ground, spears poised to deliver a fatal blow. Situation 2 Your teenage daughter’s friends drop her off fifty […]

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Ben Martin

Brain Bytes: Beating the Negativity Bias

December 14, 2016   Conflict IQ

Last time, we discussed how powerful and pervasive the negativity bias can be. At its root is the pesky fact that the mind is much better at perceiving patterns in negative experiences than positive ones. Today, we’re going to talk about how, with a little mindfulness, we can beat the bias. We touched on this before, […]

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Ben Martin

Brain Bytes: The Negativity Bias

November 7, 2016   Conflict IQ, The Science

So far in Brain Bytes, we’ve covered the basics of neuroplasticity, taking in the good, and the three brains: lizard, mammal, and primate. This week, we’re going to get to the very center of neuroplasticity: the negativity bias. The negativity bias refers to how easily the human brain turns negative experiences into neural patterns. In […]

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Ben Martin

The Case of the Incompetent Coordinator(?)

October 27, 2016   Case Studies, In-Depth

Presenting Problem An unresolved conflict at a high-tech manufacturing organization between operations’ customization coordinator and the sales group had undermined workflow and jeopardized profitability. Customized machines made up the majority of the organization’s sales, yet the coordinator’s quotes and feasibility studies were backlogged three months, resulting in the loss of an estimated 25% of their sales. […]

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Ben Martin

How To Get the Reaction You Want 96% of the Time

October 11, 2016   Conflict IQ

OK, I’ll admit: that headline sounds completely bogus. But as it turns out, there’s science to back it up. And it has huge implications for how we handle frustrations at work and in our personal lives. If someone – a friend, a colleague, a family member – loses their cool and gets hostile towards us, […]

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Ben Martin

Manufacturing Company

September 27, 2016   Case Studies, In-Depth

Presenting Problem Escalated conflict between the service technicians (60 employees) and the dispatch department (3 employees) impaired performance. Some of the staff left work early, emotionally distraught over the tension and accusations. The vice president of the division concluded that the conflict was caused by “personality problems.” Fact Finding and Actions After interviewing a cross-section […]

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Ben Martin

How Much Does Drama Cost You?

September 1, 2016   Conflict IQ

If you had to guess, how much would you say workplace drama and conflict cost your department and organization? Remember to count lost productivity, strained working relationships, supervisor time, and even employee turnover. Of course, the amount will vary from business to business. But if your workplace is like the average organization, the cost is […]

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Ben Martin

Brain Bytes: Three Brains For You

August 3, 2016   Conflict IQ, The Science

Last time, we talked about the mind/brain distinction, defined neuroplasticity, and wrapped up with a quick exercise on taking in the good. We’ll need to keep these basics in mind as we continue with this series. Today, we’re going to be talking about different layers of the human brain. First, there’s the “lizard brain” or […]

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Ben Martin

Brain Bytes: What is Neuroplasticity?

August 2, 2016   Conflict IQ, The Science

Back in 2012, I attended a week-long class on neuroplasticity led by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and sponsored by the Cape Cod Institute. I turned the content into a newsletter series called Brain Bytes, full of tips, tricks, and strategies from the seminar. The class was a few years ago, but the research is transformative and cutting-edge. So over the […]

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