Healthy conflict is a vital component of creative, collaborative workplaces. Working environments devoid of it can be assumed to have neither authentic dialogue nor decision making excellence. Moreover, conflict cannot be avoided; it will always manifest itself. So, if it isn’t given a safe space to be processed, it will turn up in behaviour and politics.
If a conflict arises in a conventional workplace with an established hierarchy then a boss, or someone higher up the hierarchy, is quickly pulled in to manage and mediate it. However, in a 21st Century Org, conflict resolution is a case of ensuring that the relationships between people are authentic and strong enough to handle conflict directly.
The conflict resolution process is three-fold:
Inviting employees to bring tensions to the surface, promoting conflict as a normal, healthy and creative way in which to learn and appreciate diversity and difference in the workplace.
The process of conflict resolution varies, depending on the topic and degree of conflict. It begins with a one-to-one discussion between the conflicting parties. If that fails, peer mediators are invited into the discussion. Finally, a president or founder is requested to engage if the other two methods are unsuccessful.
New employees are taught methods of dealing constructively with conflict, along with the central interpersonal skills, values, and rules associated with self-managing organisations.
“A community is a place that can fight gracefully.”
M. Scott Peck