Confidence that our people are doing the right thing during conflict management.

“My name is Jason Campbell. I’m a senior security leader with NiSource, a utility company that spreads across the Eastern seaboard. My area of coverage is about seven states. I chose the Vistelar association for our organization. 20 years ago, I was a police officer in California and it was a program that was revolutionary, and that we actually could do something to engage people who are in crisis and in conflict. When I found the Vistelar group, and verbal defense and influence, participating and hearing a lecture, but also doing these fire drills, not just fire talks. Some of the things in, and forgive me, but some of the lecture, you forget as you go, but what you don’t forget are the things that you participated in, the things that you actually interacted with your classmates, with the instructor. When I went into the field, those are the things that I held onto, and that’s what I used.

Some of the great outcomes that I’ve seen in our company have primarily been around the confidence that our technicians, our security guards, our managers have, that when they come back after a crisis, so when they come back to me and they’ll say, “Do you know what? I didn’t know where to go when this happened before, and now, I… Maybe a handled it okay before, but now I feel good about how I handled it. When I go home, I don’t have this emotional weight, ‘Did I do it right? Did I not do it right?’ It gave me this script to know that someplace where to go, and now I feel, you know,” and that’s filled me with this great feeling of confidence that our people are doing the right thing during conflict management.

This conflict management training is really important for people in the utility companies and utility profession, primarily because inconsistency is the enemy of peace, and if we all do it different, if one technician in one company does it one way, and then even in our own company, does it different the next day… Let’s say yesterday, my technician went in and didn’t leave the customer feeling very well, and then tomorrow I go into a dangerous situation. I may be the best speaker in the world, or best in conflict, but if we’re not doing the same thing, and we’re not on the same page, how we interact with people, we represent our companies poorly, we’re not establishing a successful brand, and we’re leaving people in more dangerous situations and having to do the cleanup later.”

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