Civility: Courteous behavior; politeness. A courteous act or utterance. Showing regard for others...

...Michael Vandergriff has collected and kept every conflict worksheet tendered to him from every class he has conducted since 1979.


This resource, referred to as “Pandora’s Boxes,” provides him with insight and a unique perspective on conflict in the US over three decades.


To say that societal norms deterring bad behaviors have weakened or disappeared is to state the obvious. Negative behaviors that were once rare are now commonplace and sometimes celebrated. Fifteen years ago, many senior management teams attempted to recapture a better work climate through the creation of flowery “affirmations” that promoted dignity and respect.

Printed, framed and hung in prominent workplace locations, these behavioral wish lists did a rapid disappearing act. As they were not created by front line employees, they were not embraced by these workers.


Michael works with intact teams and their managers to establish explicit “behavioral floor” norms.


The dynamic process of combining team effort with his unique “Surfing the Swamp®” conflict tool delivers ground rules, created and supported by the primary stakeholders. With this solid resource in place, teams have their best opportunity to build a civil, cordial, courteous environment.

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