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The City Journals

Business Boot Camps Focus on Helping Business Owners

Jun 08, 2016 09:46AM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights - Every Thursday in May, Cottonwood Heights hosted Business Boot Camp, a lecture series geared toward helping business owners. The seminars in May were the fourth camp Cottonwood Heights has presented. 

The lecture series started last year in May with the topic of starting your own business. The next one was in September last year and focused on how to use social media to help your business. In February of this year, the topic was communication. The topic this May was focused on ways to help employers. 

“We have had such a good response and they’ve been really popular,” said Peri Kinder, the business development coordinator at Cottonwood Heights. “The speakers have been fantastic.”

On May 12, the topic was conflict resolution and was taught by Kurt Weiland. Weiland is the president of Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting. During Weiland’s lecture, he invited the group to comment and participate by adding their own insight. However, if someone did not feel comfortable talking, Weiland did not force them, making the lecture relaxing and not stressful. 

Weiland explained conflict in and of itself is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, conflict can be productive. However, it can become a bad thing. 

“It can be bad when the relationship is no longer fun,” Weiland said. “It’s bad when it becomes counter-productive.”

Weiland talked the group through the anger sequence, a series of steps taken by someone when they are angry. He used the hypothetical situation of someone cutting you off on the freeway. Weiland explained that while anger can be a natural reaction, ultimately the person who is angry has a choice of how they are going to respond to it. 

Weiland then went on to explain a series of ways employers can handle conflict. This includes considering doing nothing to see if the problem will resolve itself. He also advised not to get sucked into the anger. He then said to apologize, either empathizing with the person or taking responsibility for whatever caused them anger and then agree where you can. Finally, ask the person for solutions while trying to appear you’re both on the same side. 

Weiland was asked to teach the class after he participated in previous lectures. Kinder explained some people will call to suggest people to teach or others will call to volunteer themselves. The response has been very positive, with the classes being full each time.

“People want to learn how to try something new,” Kinder said. “They want to try something new either as a person or in their profession.” 

To learn more about the Business Boot Camp lecture series, visit