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Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth. As 2021 draws to a close, I think of these three words as so much more than a phrase scripted across a beautiful holiday card. With all that's going on in the world, it's a more thought-provoking phrase for many than it was even a few years ago. Peace is certainly something our world could use much more of, and maybe even our own corners of the world. Many people are saying 2021 presented surprisingly more challenges than 2020. Here at Alloy, requests for support on the topics of resilience, healthy management of conflict, leading through change, and understanding the mental health impacts of a crisis were at an all-time high, and it doesn't appear that will be abating soon. Here we offer three year-end exercises to glean everything you need from 2021 to look forward to a more peaceful 2022 -- at least in your corner of the world:

Make Peace with Your Past Year. I have long loved to use the photos on my phone at the end of the year to make calendars, notecards,...

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Leading through the Holiday Stress

Leading through the Holiday Stress, by Ryan Hansen


It's that time of year again! The air is changing, the leaves are changing colors, and the days are getting shorter. Joyous holiday plans are coming together, families and friends are gathering around tables, and belts are loosening across the country.


It's that time of year again. The calendars are filling, deadlines are piling up, and the final business days of 2019 are bearing down. Schedules are unpredictable, clients and coworkers are unreachable, and tensions are increasing across the country.


If your workplace is anything like mine, both of these cases are true for you in November and December. The holiday season brings a slew of stressful scenarios, unlike anything the rest of the year has to offer. In many cases, it's the necessary trade-off for spending more time with family and friends to celebrate the season. As team members at every level - from the production floor to the boardroom - spend more...

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Making Conflict Constructive

Making Conflict Constructive, by Cindy Wofford Braun

The drive-up window at the local coffee shop felt safe. A TV monitor displayed each car that pulled up at the order menu, and two baristas worked the early morning shift. The coffee machines were humming, upbeat music was playing, and the smell of fresh coffee tickled the senses. If a conflict was brewing, it was going to arrive as the next driver pulled up to get their morning fix.

Many years ago, I owned this local coffee shop, and conflicts were rare but memorable. One in particular still stands out to me, and as a person who preferred to stuff emotions in the face of conflict, this experience completely changed my approach.

This particular customer had very specific expectations for two specialty drinks. These drinks had to be hand-made and delivered piping hot, with just the right combination of ingredients and foam milk. For three days in a row, this customer found something wrong and berated my employees until they...
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