mPower Moments: MBA VP Gene Neill on Managing Conflict

MBA Insights Staff

July 11, 2018

The Mortgage Bankers Association released a new mPower Moments video featuring MBA Vice President of Human Resources Gene Neill, who discusses managing conflict with MBA COO and mPower Founder Marcia M. Davies.

The video can be viewed at

mPowerNeill, who retires this month after 37 years of service with MBA, said while conflict is not something anyone wants to deal with, having effective strategies to manage conflict in the workplace is important to the well-being of all employees and the company.

"First and foremost is to be as objective as possible when issues confront you, whether as a manager or whether you're actually in the throes of the conflict itself," Neill said. "As a manager, objectivity--being able to see and think through the situation without interjecting your own biases. It's often difficult because you hear it influenced greatly by others within a department. That will help you be able to step back and keep emotions out of the situation." She said building camaraderie with the people you work is important, to develop an element of trust.

No one likes conflict, Neill noted, but one cannot put their heads in the sand to avoid it. "We often wait until it's too late to deal with something," she said. "It's far more effective if you can get in front of it and work through."

Keeping the emotional aspect of conflict in the workplace is of particular importance, Neill said. "I always take a deep breath," she said. "It refreshes you mentally as well as physically. Try not to act off the cuff; give yourself time to think. Even if it's in a meeting it's okay to stop and take a moment." She noted sometimes a simple problem becomes more complex through emotion. "Sometimes the issue is very small and doesn't require a huge response," she said.

mPower Moments is a video series in which Marcia M. Davies, MBA COO and founder of mPower, discusses issues important to the mPower community with guests. Other videos in the series, as well as MBANow videos, Washington Updates and Weekly Applications Survey Updates, can be found on the MBA video webpage,

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