How to Turn Workplace Conflict and Our Work with Diverse Communities into Success
Faculty Presentation

Faculty Conference Presentation

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran will be keynoting the Minnesota Library Association annual conference on September 19 speaking on “How to Turn Workplace Conflict and Our Work with Diverse Communities into Success.”

Workplace conflicts happen everywhere, and ignoring them can be very costly. A good place to start in understanding conflict is by realizing that conflict is actually normal and healthy. Experts have found that the most effective teams are those in which members feel safe enough to disagree with one another. Difference is at the heart of conflict, so it’s important to explore areas where we as information professionals often don’t align. Is there a diverse population that you are afraid of? Uncomfortable working with or being around? Is this due to a difference in your background? Conflict is inevitable even with the patrons that we serve because we’re human beings and come from different backgrounds. One of the biggest drivers of conflict is when we misinterpret others’ intentions. We often confuse our interpretations or assumptions about the beliefs of others with their actual intent. Everyone wants to feel like they belong and you, your staff, your administration, are no different. A big part of a healthy workplace culture is dependent upon creating an atmosphere where employees feel valued, safe and free to be their authentic selves. Cultural diversity can manifest itself in different ways so it is important to learn what those differences are within your organization and the diverse populations you serve because one’s cultural background informs how we interact with others. Our cultural values influence our own biases and interactions, and our biases can then influence our interaction with others. Cultural awareness and understanding our biases are critical first steps towards improving our performance; however, we cannot stop there. Awareness alone does not guarantee success; the ultimate question is how to take that awareness and put it into action.

Presenter: Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Location: Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference,
Mystic Lake Center, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. Prior Lake, Minnesota 55372