Clash of the Personalities Pt. 1

Years ago, in my role as a training facilitator and quality manager in a bank, my partner and I ran into a tough scenario. Little did I know, this good-sized problem would lead to a greater miracle. One of my most powerful business secrets came as a result of this dilemma.

We were called to create a team environment for our executive board of directors. All the big players sat at the table. President, vice-presidents over various departments, financial heads, every shaker in the company was accounted for. We knew we were in trouble shortly into our first meeting.

Tom’s face turned radish-red at a comment Cathy made. He leaned over his folded hands sitting on top of the glossy table. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Undaunted by his challenge, Cathy leaned forward as well. “I’m simply calling it like it is. If your department was more organized, it wouldn’t hold some of the rest of us back.”

The flush on Tom’s features shaded from radish to beet. “Who are you to point fingers? Half the time we’re waiting on your people to get us information.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I know so.”

Cathy rose in a calculated pose. When she stood to full height, she placed her palms flat against the table’s shine and glared at Tom. “You are a liar.”

Tom pounced like a leopard. He leapt from his seat and slammed both hands down before leaning further across the table from his standing position. His head and upper chest crossed the dividing line between her side and his. “What did you call me?”

Not to be outdone, Cathy also leaned, until the two were a nose apart. “I don’t stutter.”

I watched Tom’s knuckles scrape across the urethane finish as his right hand curled into a fist. His skin flushed white. Captivated by the escalation before me, I’d let things get out of hand. I snapped myself out of it, and spoke, afraid Tom might act on the rage evidenced on his face. “Please, calm down everyone. Tom, Cathy, I need you to sit.”

Both of them turned coal-burning eyes on me. After a silent stand-off for several seconds, I breathed relief when they sat almost simultaneously.

My brain scrambled for answers. I could tell by looking at my partner that neither of us had a whisper of an idea about what to do. So we adjourned. Quickly.

The call a bit later, to come to the President’s office for an emergency meeting, didn’t surprise us. He drilled us both with a determined look and said, “I don’t care how, I don’t care how much, but I want this fixed. And fast.”

We left shaking our heads, and in way over our heads. I started to pray, we had a fight on our hands and needed a miracle.

Have you ever been faced with a crisis at work that turned into a big blessing later?

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Acts 5:39 (NIV)

But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.

Contact her via or

(Other than my own, all names were changed to protect the privacy of those involved.)


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