Spotlight: Staying out of the Spider’s Web

Instructor: Deb Howard

There are many types of politics in the workplace. The most basic take place at an interpersonal level when two people aren’t getting along, or one person is unhappy with another. What do they do? They pull in other people (often their manager) to fix the problem, fix the person, be the messenger, or be a sympathetic ear. Psychologists call this triangulation. 

Interpersonal triangles are so prevalent in our families (where we initially learn how to use them) and in the workplace that most of us accept them, and even perpetuate them. But there are big downsides to allowing triangles to flourish at work—especially for leaders. In this two-hour session, you will learn how to stay out of the spider's web and avoid (and reduce) these triangles.

Based on the work of pioneering psychologist Murray Bowen, Deb Howard will show you how to immediately and easily identify triangles in your work teams, and take positive steps to reduce the conflict, tension, and anxiety they can cause. 

During this Spotlight Master Class, designed for managers, you’ll learn: 

  • What to do about gossiping, venting, and complaining at work. 
  • What to say when people come to you to complain about a problem (which is usually another person). 
  • How to keep from getting caught in other people’s triangles. 
  • How to help people talk with each other directly about their concerns, without becoming their messenger. 
  • How to have an open-door policy without enabling triangulation. 
  • How to avoid the temptation to create your own triangles. 

This class is for you if: 

  • You want to improve communications between individuals and teams at your organizations. 
  • You manage individuals or teams who are often at odds with each other.  
  • You are unsure about the best approach to helping people communicate directly.  
  • You want to extricate yourself from triangulation.  

*Note: Due to the nature of this Spotlight Master Class, and to promote a safe environment for participants to share their experiences, this session will not be recorded.

A One-Session Spotlight Master Class

Tuesday, April 9

11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific
Noon – 2:00 pm Mountain
1:00 – 3:00 pm Central
2:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern


JPro Members – Regular: $95
Non-Members: $200

Please be sure to review the cancellation policy prior to registering.

Canadians may use a discount code to adjust the pricing to be on par with the Canadian dollar.
A group discount is available when three or more employees of a JPro affiliate organization participate in the same course.

Contact our program team prior to registering to receive a Canadian and/or group discount code.