Conflict Resolution 101

The event industry is not exempt from conflict. In this episode Bina Patel Ph. D shares ways to overcome conflict in a healthy way. 


How did you get into conflict resolution and help me understand your philosophy…

I got into it because I was interested in female suicide terrorists. I wanted to understand what makes them tick. There was a program coming up, a doctoral program very new, 2010. What captured my attention was why do people want to become suicide bombers and what is the behavior and mindset behind it. I looked at a program that encompassed everything. While I was doing that I was working corporate America, I recognized that someone like myself was hired to replace folks that had been there 30-40 years. I started to understand corporate conflict and workplace conflict. What I was learning at school I was able to apply it, because I started a conflict resolution program at the company. I realized it was all the same, people are people and as individuals and humans we have emotions and that’s where conflict arises. For me, to study people, to watch people, you get an idea of understanding how people are and why they act the way they act. And you understand the system of conflict. It really comes down to the way we think, our mindset, behaviors, attitudes, and what has shaped us. It’s called mental mapping.

Behavior and emotions are formed by my mental map I’ve formed over my lifetime?

Yes they contribute to how you handle conflict at your age. As we’re getting older, we are maturing in some way. The experiences shape the way we think, they also add to our mental mindset.

There are healthy ways to deal with problems and there are unhealthy ways. Talk about stress triggers and how it comes together.

Stress triggers, many things affect stress. Sometimes we don’t realize we are stressed. When we are emotional we can be irrational. Emotions can take over the ability to think clearly. Most often than not emotions do blind us and when you are in a heated argument thats why you say something you don’t mean, you’ve probably thought of it before but never said it. We can’t think rationally and decipher emotions. One of the best tools is when someones yelling at you, count to 10 in your mind. That way you won’t rage back at them. It’s very hard.

We always talk about working on teams effectively. How does your behavior impact the team work? And how does that correlate to when you run into problems?

The events community is one of the toughest industries out there. It’s a thankless job unfortunately and there’s a lot of work behind the scenes people forget. One of the best ways to work in a team environment is to really think about how to look at somebody from an outward mindset. Be self disciplined and control your emotions.

What tools do you have for better understanding?

That’s the idea of having an open mind. That comes down to the other tool which is flexing. When you’re in a teamwork environment, or your team doesn’t show up, it can be very frustrating. If I flex my personality to assimilate to the current environment, its better for myself than other people. If I can shrug things off that are non important to the situation, then you’re more able to assimilate to be flexible, be open minded.

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