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    This week’s show is one of the best yet! Dr. Nate Regier gives Marcel Schwantes and listeners a new way to think about conflict, calling it the greatest untapped energy resource in the world. Considering that Gallup estimates that negative conflict costs the US economy $350 billion a year, Nate’s statement seems doubly shocking. He joins Marcel to discuss this counterintuitive idea as well as his new book, Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide For Compassionate Accountability.

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    Show Notes

    • Dr. Nate Regier is the co-founder and CEO of Next Element, a global leadership training and certification company specializing in communication and conflict skills. He is an expert in positive conflict, social and emotional intelligence and leadership, neuropsychology, and group dynamics. [2:00]
    • Conflict Without Casualties is a field guide that covers actionable techniques and strategies to deal with conflict, based on Nate’s years of research and experience. [4:42]
    • Mediation, management, and reduction are some of the most popular terms associated with conflict, Nate says. This implies that conflict is the bad guy. Quite the opposite, he believes that conflict is simply a gap between what we want and what we’re experiencing. It’s neither good nor bad. [6:45]
    • Conflict is like the grain of sand in an oyster shell, Nate says. Without it, there wouldn’t be a pearl. Conflict has a purpose and a reason so it can have a productive outcome. As such, conflict should be stewarded and leveraged. [9:19]
    • Marcel asks Nate to talk about the drama triangle. Nate describes the three roles in the drama triangle and argues that it’s actually the rescuer who does the most harm. [12:52]
    • Diversity is part of the grand design of the universe, and where there is diversity there will be conflict. Therefore, conflict must be by design as well, Nate posits. The only question is how are we going to use it. [17:35]
    • Conflict is the energy source, but compassion is how we turn that energy into something positive. Compassion means to struggle with, to be with people in the suffering. Our purpose is not to alleviate suffering, but to struggle purposefully with others to create amazing things, Nate says. That’s when conflict can do miracles. [18:05]
    • Compassionate accountability is the art and science of struggling with people in a spirit of dignity to create something amazing. Compassion drives inclusion and engagement and coupled with accountability, it helps people achieve. [19:53]
    • Compassion is a cycle of three interrelated skills that happen in order. These skills are openness, resourcefulness, and persistence. The most effective strategy for communicating through conflict is the ORPO (open, resourceful, persistent, open) strategy. Nate describes the ORPO strategy and explains how it works in everyday practice. [21:50]
    • Marcel comments that this approach to conflict is based on authentic communication. When leaders model it, it filters down throughout the organization and creates a positive culture. [28:00]
    • Nate’s mission is to bring compassion to every workplace in the world through simple, elegant, powerful and scalable methodologies that anybody can learn and use. [31:05]
    • One of the most powerful things leaders can do is to start at “open” (in the compassion cycle) by disclosing their motives. [34:46]

    The Book


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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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