In any given situation, no circumstance is truly as it appears. Our cultural and social background will influence our perception, especially when there is a real or imagined threat to our needs, interests, or concerns. It is this divergence of cultural perspective that leads to conflict in the workplace.
All organizations experience conflict. Some conflict is good and produces higher standards. Some conflict is bad and disrupts the business flow. Some conflict is inherent and can at best, be managed only. Other conflicts are strictly gratuitous, and should be eliminated entirely. The key is to know the difference, and to understand the cultural components and organizational dynamics at-play.
Pneumos uses its well-honed “Semantic Deconstruction method”™ to resolve disputes between peer and co-workers, supervisors and employees, community groups and civic groups, executives and leadership teams, and departments and workgroups.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself as you attempt to manage or mitigate organization within the workplace:
- What is the source of conflict in the workplace? Is it diversity-based? Is it based on a lack of information? Is it based on a faulty perception? What are the personal or political dynamics involved?
- When do the conflicts tend to occur? Do the conflicts occur seasonally or at critical junctures in the business cycle?
- What channels are in place to resolve organizational conflict? Are there means for handling conflicts in a predictable, reliable, and effective way?
- What is the nature of the organizational response to conflicts as they arise? Is the response collaborative, avoidant, compromising, engaging, competitive, or accommodating?
- Does the organization have preventative measures in place? Is the organization pro-active or reactive?
To resolve conflict effectively and return your organization to optimum performance, we employ a process that focuses on the following:
- How will the organizational objectives be met by resolving the conflict?
- How much of the conflict is detrimental to the organization? How much of the conflict is constructive?
- What relationships need to be preserved?
- How do we secure buy-in from interested stakeholders?
- What is the timeline for resolving the conflict?
We have extensive experience in the following:
- Interest-based mediation
- Diversity of mediation styles
- Essential communication/people skills
- Addressing Power Imbalances
- Dealing with Someone Unwilling to Negotiate
- Emotional and psychological considerations
- Face-to-face mediation and caucusing
- Moving through impasse
- Cross- and inter-cultural issues in mediation
- Reaching effective agreements
- Ethical rules and interesting dilemmas
Joel A. Brown is a certified mediator and has over 100 hours of mediation classroom training.
We at Pneumos stress the lowest-level of resolution, and encourage our clients to see conflict as an opportunity for growth, learning, and increased sustainability.