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MBA grad shares insights on conflict management with Reinhardt students

By Erika Neldner

Everyone will face conflicts at work or at home in life, something Ann Bailey ’10 helped provide tools for during a Strategic Career Advantage Platform (S-CAP) workshop Saturday at Reinhardt University.

S-CAP is a new certificate series at Reinhardt University initiated by President Dr. Kina S. Mallard. The first sessions began in Fall 2016. Students who attend at least five sessions in an academic year will receive a pin they can wear at graduation.

“The students were very well engaged and had great questions,” Bailey said of the April 8 session held in the Fred H. and Mozelle Bates Tarpley Education Center.

Bailey, who graduated from Reinhardt in 2010 with her Master of Business Administration, is the manager of Leadership Development for Siemens Corporation. Conflict management is one of the many facets of her job and one Reinhardt students found captivating.

“The exercises were engaging and highly informative,” said junior public relations and advertising major Adria Mulrooney. “I walked away with a much better understanding of the different types of conflict that can arise and how to handle them accordingly. Conflict management is an invaluable skill to have because it applies to every aspect of our daily lives. By having a better understanding of it, I will gain a lot personally and professionally.”

Bailey used an exercise that allowed people to share their conflicts anonymously by writing them on Post-it notes and affixing them to the board. Then one-by-one, the group was able to address the conflict with a matrix based on the importance of the issue and the importance of the relationship.

“When you are in the midst of conflict, it’s important to talk about how important the relationship is and how important the issue is,” Bailey said. “We walked through those scenarios using that matrix. It gave practical applications for the students in the room.”

Senior accounting major Darrell Arnold said he left the workshop knowing he cannot control everyone’s happiness but he could control his actions and attitude in dealing with conflict.

“The feedback model we used was very helpful. When giving feedback, it's important to observe behavior, what impact it has, take time to pause and listen, and then make a suggestion,” Arnold said. “We, as people, try to avoid conflict as much as possible, and it leads to built-up stress and words tend to fail what we want to say.

“With the skills I learned from Ann Bailey, I am well aware on how to dissect a conflict by scaling low to high on the importance of the relationship and the importance of the issues in order to either advocate, ignore, accommodate or collaborate.”

Following the lesson, Bailey discussed students’ career goals and paths and helped them with potential conflicts within their chosen field.

In her professional career, she oversees the management portfolio of learning offerings for Siemens Corporation. Those courses include People and Business Management curriculum, leadership and management development programs for the U.S.

Bailey also owns Ann Art Gallery in Canton. She creates calligraphic art and collage work, something she has been doing for more than 20 years. She has studied in Belgium and France, as well as at national workshops with world-renowned calligraphic artists John Stevens, Ewan Clayton and Denis Brown. She also works in other mediums including inks and watercolors.

Bailey is a member of the President’s Advisory Council and Alumni Board of Governors at Reinhardt University.

MBA graduate Ann Bailey teaches workshop on conflict management during the Strategic Career Advanced Platform April 8 in the Fred H. and Mozelle Bates Tarpley Education Center.

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