Triangulation: Stop the game, build trust

When conflict arises at work, there are two ways people deal with it. Go directly to the person in question or tell other people about it first. Many times, we take the latter route, and it never goes well.

If you ever played telephone as a kid, you’ll know that the original message always gets twisted somewhere along the way. At work, the stakes are much higher though.

The result: gossip, miscommunication, damaged team dynamics, a toxic work environment, and the question you can’t shake: is everyone talking about everyone else behind their backs?

When information gets passed through a third-party, it creates something known as triangulation. There’s no bigger culture killer than that.

To combat triangulation, we have to foster workplaces where people feel comfortable for people to address conflict directly.

In this episode, I talk about how to remove triangulation from our work culture, and move toward a healthier way to communicate and deal with conflict.


The worst thing about triangulation is the impact it has on relationships. It erodes trust and creates an environment where people can’t trust their peers or leaders. -Jen Thornton 

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