Roy Johnson is co-author of the top-selling "Turning Conflict into Profit" and a mediator, trainer and national conference speaker on topics including communication, organizational change, leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution. Before heading into the Monthly Dinner event please take a moment to learn about this amazing speaker.
For over 15 years, Roy has resolved dozens of disputes annually, ranging from interpersonal complaints to complex multi-issue conflicts. He is a certified debriefer, mediator and human resources professional. As a Prosci certified Change Management Consultant, Roy integrates change management within the context of improving workplace cultures and team climates including addressing morale issues and building employee engagement.
In keynotes he presents insights gleaned from years of work in the trenches, and balances this with humour and a passion for healing broken relationships.
Q&A with Roy Johnson
How does the following quote relate to your work? “It's easier to jump out of a plane — hopefully with a parachute — than it is to change your mind about an opinion.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
We all love a villain. You hurt me and I assign a motive to you that you meant to hurt me. I’ll cling dearly and painfully to that. I don’t want to be proven wrong. This story I tell myself, to explain why you did what you did to me, and how cruelly you meant to do it, is at the root of all unhealthy conflict.
Conflict is an inevitable part of work. What advice can you give to teams that have members on both sides of the coin?
All of my work in conflict can be summed up in eight little words: Totally - different - perspectives - of - the - exact - same - events. It’ll help for team members to consider this when strategizing to resolve workplace conflict.
What are your thoughts on group norms? What norms do you see as vital to success?
Group norms allow us to share a space where we know what to expect from each other. I can deal with almost anything if I know to expect it. Conflict occurs when you behave in a way I wouldn’t expect. Deviations from group norms are a significant source of conflict. These deviations are also critical for improving any current state. All growth involves change. All change involves loss. All loss involves protest.
What would you tell your 30-year-old self?
Get more sleep. Eat less pizza. Stop memorizing everything – the iPhone is coming.
What books have inspired you or ones that you have recommended most?
For years, clients would ask us: “What’s a great book on workplace conflict?” My colleagues and I would offer a half dozen to cover a range of issues. Until one day, my colleague Larry and I were inspired to write our own. So in a shameless act of self-promotion, I’d have to say: “Turning Conflict into Profit: A Roadmap for Resolving Personal and Organizational Disputes” by Axelrod & Johnson (University of Alberta Press)
Turning Conflict into Profit: A Roadmap for Resolving Personal and Organizational Disputes, Axelrod & Johnson.
Do you have any particular morning routines?
I turn our dishwasher and wash machine on. Then I release our Roomba robot vacuum as I head out the door. This affords me a feeling of accomplishment, which involves no effort on my part. Now the rest of the day requires me to show up as a baseline. Because really, no matter how crummy the day is, I come home to fresh clothes, clean dishes and a dog that’s relieved a robot is no longer chasing her.
Thank you Roy for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better. We are looking forward to your presentation on conflict resolution.
For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event Tongue Fu: Effective Conflict Resolution in Project Management or to register please click below.