Track Talk

Escape “brain hijack” – Dealing productively with conflict and disagreement

Marielle Roozemond

10:30-11:00 CEST Thursday 30th September

Every tester is familiar with disagreements and conflict .e.g. when discussing priorities, deadlines or the severities of bugs. Differences of opinion start peculiar biological processes. The well-connected brain that allows us to think creatively and come up with solutions is hijacked. Suddenly, there is only a limited part of the brain available that prompts us to defend our point of view. And exactly that behaviour does not contribute to finding a solution.

Most people tend to avoid conflict and disagreement. A shame because disagreement is necessary to achieve better products and processes. Dealing productively with disagreement and conflict ensures that quality of work goes up, job satisfaction increases, and team members will feel more engaged. We should embrace conflict instead.

In this talk I will give insight in brain processes during conflict. Participants get practical tools to escape “brain hijacking”. Two tools for self-examination and two tools for exploring disagreements with a conversation partner or a team. The four tools form an effective set to examine how the conflict is structured and to find a solution that can be agreed on by all parties.

Join this session if you want to understand how the brain reacts on disagreements and want to overcome these effects in order to contribute to solutions.