Bryant Galindo is an organizational consultant, and leadership development coach. His innovative approach to conflict resolution springs from the methodology he created called Collaborative Disagreement, which shifts a person’s mindset around disagreement, while providing a communication script for resolving high-stakes situations collaboratively.
Bryant has worked with venture-backed startups, the United Nations, and Union Bank, is Co-Founder and CEO of CollabsHQ. He holds a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University.
CollabsHQ is a leadership development and organizational strategy consulting firm specializing in coaching and development. Based in Los Angeles, their specialties include resolving disputes, leadership development, employee engagement, and scaling virtual cultures.
What’s unique about your take on conflict resolution?
Bryant Galindo: The way I approach conflict resolution is fast, but focused on the transformation of the situation. By depersonalizing the problem, and centering the conversation around the business problem the parties are facing, I’ve created tools and scripts that create strong collaborative working relationships.
What’s one of the first things you notice when you’re asked to help an organization or company? What usually is their biggest obstacle?
Bryant Galindo: When I am called in to help a company, the first thing I notice is that I am being called in as a “last resort”. Founders are bickering, and don’t have another way forward, but they want to save their business if they’re a startup. Big companies want to figure out how to use innovative technologies to train their talent, and leverage their best skill, but can’t figure it out in-house.
Being the last resort means I come in as a rescuer, and I have to troubleshoot individual personalities, and office politics, to get the job done. The biggest obstacle then is I have to be adept at reading people and situations, so I can get the job done with the least bit of resistance from stakeholders, and decision-makers, while optimizing the environment for the change initiative I’m advocating for.
Why/how do so many companies suffer from inter-office disagreements, and what can they do to avert, or solve, this kind of issue?
Bryant Galindo: Inter-office disagreements and drama spring from miscommunications that are unintentional. They usually start out small. And then just snowball from there. Unfortunately, because most people don’t address this proactively, these simple misunderstandings build up, creating resentments, frustrations and stories that prevent team members from seeing each other and the problem differently.
What kind of strategies might you use that differ from managers, to employees?
Bryant Galindo: For managers it is about developing the mindset that it takes to coach – instead of manage – their people. It’s a different skill set that requires that the manager understand how to bring out the best in their people, without going into problem-solving mode. For employees, it’s different. It’s about managing up, knowing how to be their own negotiator or mediator, and giving them the skills to troubleshoot problems on their own.
What kinds of work did you do for the UN and Union Bank?
Bryant Galindo: For both the UN and Union Bank, I was hired to create curriculum that could be used to train diplomats/humanitarian workers (UN) as well as first-time managers (Union Bank). The premise was to give people rapid response tools for de-escalating situations, understanding how to build high-performing teams, and best practices for negotiating sensitive issues.