Oct 16, 2019 | The construction industry is full of stress and challenges. From project delays to a lack of resources, construction industry workers face many obstacles to ensure our communities are built correctly and on schedule. When you add lots of different people of varying trades, backgrounds, and work styles to the mix, tensions can run high. Often times, these workers (like most of us) are not taught how to deal with workplace conflict, so issues go unresolved, or even escalated.

One organization is determined to change all of this by providing support, education, and ensuring safe work conditions for its members. Founded over 135 years ago, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) is dedicated to bettering the lives of its members and their families through its comprehensive and progressive training programs. From roofers to sheet-rock specialists to foremen, construction industry workers of all kinds can grow and learn together under the UBC.

According to the UBC’s website, their mission is “to stand strong with our members and business partners to help them achieve success. UBC education and training advances leadership, skill, quality, productivity, safety, and attitude with the goal of creating a constructive culture within the construction industry and providing a competitive workforce for our contractors and owners.” The union boasts over 500,000 members of varying demographics across North America and welcomes thousands of members to its training facility in Las Vegas, NV, each year.

With an emphasis on emotional intelligence, the UBC’s latest program, 212 Journeymen Leaders, was designed for more senior members who have already completed their introductory training courses. Launched in 2017, 212 Journeymen Leaders focuses on empowering journeymen (skilled carpenters have successfully completed an apprenticeship, putting in years of time and hard labor) to take an active role on the job site to coach, mentor, and elevate their peers. Through working closely with their long-time consultant and Everything DiSC® Authorized Partner, the UBC decided to incorporate Everything DiSC Productive Conflict into 212 Journeymen Leaders. Productive Conflict’s tangible, scalable nature made it the perfect tool for UBC’s members, and a great complement to their newest program.

Rather than focus on a step-by-step process for conflict resolution, Productive Conflict offers personalized insights that deepen self-understanding to turn destructive behaviours into productive ones, ultimately improving workplace relationships and results. This program combines the personalized insights of DiSC® with the proven science of cognitive-behavioural theory to help each participant effectively respond to the uncomfortable and unavoidable challenges of workplace conflict. Once participants understand the traits and tendencies of their own DiSC® style in conflict, as well as those of the other styles, they can more easily identify how to handle and adjust their reactions to conflict.

Right away, trainers and members alike saw the impact made by Everything DiSC Productive Conflict. “When we’re finished, inevitably someone asks if we’ve been following them for the last month,” shares one of the trainers on the UBC’s education team. “Because they feel like we’ve looked into who they are so intimately that somebody had to do more than give them a simple assessment.”

Since 2017, UBC has introduced Productive Conflict to over 1,200 members, with approximately 2,500+ members scheduled to experience and use the solution in 2019. UBC’s members have expressed that Everything DiSC has made them better listeners, stronger communicators, and more objective mediators—skills that undoubtedly improve their lives both on and off the job site.

Conflict is an uncomfortable, unavoidable part of the workplace—but it doesn’t have to be negative. With the right tools, conflict can actually be transformed from destructive to productive. Download and read the full story to learn how this revolutionary tool has changed the lives of thousands of the UBC’s members, their peers, and construction job sites across the continent.

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