Hannah Hutchinson


CONFLICT RESOLUTION 101: PART II | Hannah Hutchinson, founder of Your Conflict Coach and local conflict and relationship expert, guides us through a few simple shifts that will transform the way we mitigate, manage, and reduce conflict in our workplaces:

Conflict in a workplace goes by many names: organizational conflict, business conflict, executive conflict… no matter what you choose to call it, workplace conflict has 1 key distinction from other kinds of conflict— at work, you don’t have the power to remove yourself from the relationship. 

So where does that leave us? What can we do to make things better for ourselves at work without compromising professionalism?

Here’s the short answer— in conflict, we’re used to reacting, when we should be responding

Let’s look at the difference:



Reacting tends to be instinctual, emotion-driven, and immediate, while responding is more intentional and thoughtful, and considers the broader context of the conflict. Responding is generally more constructive in managing conflicts, because it aims to address issues calmly and with a focus on understanding and resolving underlying problems.

In a lot of situations (especially the workplace), we’re expected to maintain a civil tone, have a positive attitude, and use respectful language. This makes a lot of sense, but it’s MUCH harder to do when we are in situations that require us to stand up for ourselves or fight to be heard.

As humans, when we get triggered, we have a tendency to immediately react, out of self-preservation. Let me remind you that this is normal. 

However, in a workplace specifically, those reactions can create long-term damage with people you have to see and work with every day. Plus, you run the risk of an outburst having a negative impact on your overall professional environment. In short, it’s counterintuitive.

This is when it’s especially important to have the skill of PAUSING.

It seems simple, but in practice it’s much much more complex. Lucky for you, I have a cheat code... (You’re welcome!)

We all have some sort of physical feeling inside of us when we get triggered and feel the urge to react. For some, it’s a spiked heart rate. For others, it’s a surge of heat through the neck or chest. Maybe it’s pressure in your head, or shaky hands, or an eye twitch, or a pit in your stomach…

Figure out what yours is.

Use this as your personal alarm. 

Recognize when it comes. 

That’s your signal to pause — respond instead of reacting.

Don’t get discouraged if this doesn’t come natural; passion and self-preservation are really critical skills to have! In the workplace, though, sometimes there are more professional ways to channel those skills. 

Some real examples I’ve seen:

Workplace conflict is fairly inevitable, but ruined coworker relationships don’t have to be. Dreading those interactions doesn’t have to be. Avoiding it doesn’t have to be. I hope this mindset shift can provide a sense of courage and peace, allowing you to manage your workplace conflict a little easier! 

Love always,

Hannah, Your Conflict Coach :)

Hannah Hutchinson, Your Conflict Coach, young white woman with shoulder-length brown wavy hair smiles away from the camera in front of a clear sky, in a light green shirt.
Hannah Hutchinson, M.A. | Founder, Coach, Podcast Host

ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Hannah is a local communication expert and conflict coach, helping people develop conflict resolution skills, emotional intelligence, and relationship competency, so we can all live happier, more peaceful lives with those we love AND those we tolerate. She’s passionate about making this information accessible to everyone, so you can find more tips and tricks on her social media, and she hosts a podcast called “Secrets of a Conflict Coach”! By contributing to NWAGG, she hopes to reach more beautiful souls & spread the art of peaceful living to more people who crave it!

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