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Addressing the Bully in the Room: High Conflict Personalities in Workplace Investigations

Workplace conflict is nothing new. But for employers, undertaking workplace investigations is a relatively new – and highly prevalent – practice. A large proportion of workplace conflicts include at least one person exhibiting traits of a high conflict personality. This raises the question of how an investigator can be equipped to run a fair and effective process, despite the challenges presented by high conflict personalities.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and High Conflict Personalities: Working with Cultural Differences

Recently, we have been getting requests for knowledge about people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Some of them have difficult interpersonal behaviors, which can sometimes escalate into high conflict. Do our methods of managing high-conflict people (HCPs) help those with ASD? Or do they need something completely different? Or a combination of both. The answer seems to lie in understanding the different cultures of people with ASD and how to relate to people in their culture. The following article addresses several of these cultural differences, followed by adaptations that can be made to be more effective in working with those with ASD.

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The New Elephant in the Room: Why All Professionals Need to Learn About Personality Disorders

In 1994, a best-selling children’s book was published titled An Elephant in the Living Room, to help children learn about alcoholism—a topic that had been taboo to discuss or even acknowledge. It wasn’t just children who weren’t discussing it, most adults hesitated to talk about it for fear of upsetting the person with alcoholism, their family, their workplace, or their community. Yet over the past few decades, our society has learned a great deal about alcoholism, including how to recognize it, set limits on it, and treat it. We are now at a similar point in history in regard to personality disorders—a topic that has been taboo to talk about or even acknowledge up to the present, even though as of 2022 the diagnostic manual of mental health professionals indicates that over 10 percent of the adult population has a personality disorder.

This has become a public health problem comparable to alcoholism in its ability to ruin the lives of those who have it, those close to them, those professionals working with them, and society at large. The time has come for all professionals, especially those involved in legal disputes, workplace conflicts, and child and family problems, to learn about personality disorders, talk about them openly, and take their significant issues into account in their work.

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