Conflict Resolution – For Organisations

A Venn diagram entitled Conflict Resolution for Innovation

Dealing with Immediate Conflict

Multi-polar conflict can destabilise culture rapidly and needs to be addressed. However, it is rarely clear what needs to be done, as most of the key players have become too involved in the conflict and cannot detach from their perspectives. Here, the value of an outsider is very useful to create coherence and allow the group to create their own cohesion.

While we have no fixed processes, as all organisations and communities are different, we have a generalised approach to this kind of work.

Conflict Resolution Process

A conflict resolution process hourglass. Development and Environmental Scan; Network Analysis; Key Issues; Transformation; Communicating Change; Implementation and Support; Handoff and Legacy.

Deployment + Environmental Scan:

We deploy a conflict resolution specialist to scan the environment, establishing relationships with stakeholders and building trust through transparency and reliability. We engage widely to get a full picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the environment that your people are operating in.

Network Analysis:

Mapping the existing relationships, we begin to develop a picture of how information is flowing: where it is asymmetric, siloed or distorted.

Key Issues + Actors:

Based on the information flow of the network, a picture will emerge of the key issues + actors. At this stage, we often find that new leadership emerges as it becomes clear what people are not doing to resolve the conflict, whereas previously all attention was paid to what particular people were doing to exacerbate it.

Transformation:

A series of targeted interventions that aim to create greater coherence in the groups. These interventions are dependent on the needs of the group, but can include:

  • 1 on 1 Mediation
  • 1 on 1 Coaching
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Group strategy, debriefing and coaching
  • Skills workshops
  • Well-being workshops
  • Open Forums
  • Public forums

These strategies, delivered in partnership with the Key Actors to address the Key issues, result in positive transformation.

Communicating Change:

Once the change has occurred, it is important to communicate the change to the rest of the community so that it can be integrated and consolidated. We will work on your communication strategy to ensure that information is flowing to the right places and the group can stabilise around the new coherence that has been generated.

Implementation and Support:

Lasting change requires a plan and ongoing supports. Working with the leaders that have emerged through this process, we identify how the changes will continue to be impactful.

Hand-off and Legacy:

Working in this way, a new subset of leadership will have emerged to take ownership of the outcomes that have been generated. Their legacy is consolidated through public recognition and ownership of the outcomes.

Building Competence to Lead Conflict

Is your organisation equipped to deal with conflict effectively? Is reconciliation built into your organisational DNA? Do you know how to integrate conflicts into your cultural strategy?

Many organisations will measure the level of conflict through external interventions such as the number of complaints, mediations and disciplinary actions that are made throughout the year. This misses the true nature of conflict though; measuring only the extreme negative outcomes that manifest when it is managed poorly.

We need to separate between community culture reconciliation and individual conflict resolution and reconciliation for restorative culture.

50% of people leave work due to conflicts

Some other popular measures include :

  • 60-80% of all difficulties in organisations are due to strained relationships between employees (Dana, Daniel (2005): Managing Differences: How to Build Better Relationships at Work and Home, 4th ed)
  • 145 hours are spent on conflict per employee, per year (Lawler, Jennifer (June 2010): The Real Cost of Workplace Conflict, www.entrepenuer.com, Multiple Sources
  • For managers, between 25-40% of their time is spent managing workplace conflict (Washington Business Journal, May 2005: Multiple Sources)
  • 50% of all workplace departures cite conflict as the decisive factor for departure (‘Controlling conflict Costs: The Business Case of Conflict Management, Buss, Helmut:¬† International Ombudsman Association Journal 4.1 (2011) 5-62)
  • 61% of Start-ups fail due to interpersonal conflict (www.resologics.com)

All these measures do not capture the results of conflict when it is well managed. Conflict is a healthy and necessary party of any creative process, and can also result in:

  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Bonding + togetherness
  • Collaboration
  • Personal (and team) growth
  • Discovery, Alignment and Affirmation of common values

Contact Us

Conflict is what happens when two or more people have opposing viewpoints about what should happen. This represents an opportunity to gain new insight and re-affirm the common purposes that we have, as humans as well as employees.

ShareTree have developed a suite of solutions that allows conflict to be engaged with in a productive and transformative way, that will measurably increase and improve:

  • Awareness of conflict, including where one or both parties are actively avoiding the conflict
  • Interpersonal skills + Diffusing negative emotions
  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Creating alignment and a shared framework for decision-making
  • Trust and decision-making
  • Cultural Leadership
  • Authenticity and Vulnerability

Contact us now to talk about how we can nurture conflict competence in your workplace.

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