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“The problem is when we’re wishing that a situation or another person would change, and the reality is that they’re not going to, we can wish until the cows come home and it’s not going to make a single iota of difference.” – Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Every single person experiences conflict with others at certain points in his or her life, and although it isn’t entirely avoidable, it is possible to free oneself from recurring conflict. Today’s Finding Brave guest reveals how we can start to do this, even without the cooperation of the other party, by sharing what do when it seems like all previous efforts to resolve the conflict have failed.

Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler is founder and CEO of Alignment Strategies Group, the premier New York-based consulting firm that counsels CEOs and their executive teams on how to optimize organizational health and growth.

Author of the new book Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home, and in Life, she is a keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and innovative, fast-growing startups, where she inspires audiences of all kinds, including those at Google, Harvard and TEDx, and in her popular course at Columbia.

A former counterterrorism research fellow with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, she is a graduate of Tufts University and holds a Ph.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. 

In order to free yourself from recurring conflict, you have to break the pattern of the conflict loop by doing something different from what you’ve been doing in the past. The actionable strategies Jennifer presents during the conversation, as well as in her new book, will help people in all different situations at work and home free themselves from conflict and achieve the optimal outcomes that they desire. 

Highlights from this Episode:

  • The way that Jennifer leverages all of her expertise and past experiences to help others resolve the conflicts that they’re facing [3:32]

  • The process she uses to do this, and the very first step she’s trained to take to move towards conflict resolution [4:52]

  • How conflict resolution differs from being “conflict free,” and the main message she wants readers to take from her book [7:53]

  • The personal reasons that Jennifer has dedicated her life to this work around conflict resolution [11:18]

  • What we can all do today if faced with conflict in the workplace, specifically when dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies [16:01]

  • Jennifer’s powerful “cost versus benefits” exercise that will reframe the way you approach conflict in your life [21:50]

  • The 3 main things we all want when stuck in conflict, and 4 different conflict habits that exist [25:42]

  • How and why we each take on a certain habit when faced with conflict [30:22]

  • The role that our values play and why our “shadow values” have such an impact on our relationships [32:40]

For More Information:

Resources Mentioned: 

Jennifer’s New Book, Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home, and in Life

Book launch party at the Strand Bookstore in NYC on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm 

Lower Manhattan Headquarters Book Talk in NYC on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Roundtable Event at Mediation Works Incorporated in downtown Boston on Wednesday, March 18 at 2 pm 

Take Jennifer’s Optimal Outcomes Assessments

Her TEDx Talk, Free Yourself When Conflict Resolution Fails

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patten & Sheila Heen

For more about Kathy’s upcoming book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths To Career Bliss, sign up for her weekly newsletter at for updates, free giveaways, contests, and more, coming in Spring 2020. And to discover if you are experiencing any of the 7 damaging power gaps today, take Kathy’s Power Gap Survey and find out!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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“If you take a systems approach to family dynamics, those are very similar to any kind of group dynamics at work that you’ll likely come across in organizational settings.” [3:50]

“I think the first key is to recognize that conflict is part of being human. We cannot be human, and we cannot live on this planet, without experiencing some conflict at one point or another in our lives.” [8:08]

“The beauty of becoming free from conflict is that it doesn’t necessarily require a conversation or cooperation with someone else. What it does require is courage, and being brave to look inside of yourself and ask yourself a whole series of questions.” [17:00]

“Sometimes we stay stuck in those situations thinking about all the benefits, and we don’t get present to all the costs that we’re paying.” [22:27]

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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