The foundations of an effective Integrated Conflict Management System are:
Whether intentional or by default, all organisations have systems for managing workplace disputes.
The quality and efficiency of an Integrated Conflict Management System depends on the extent to which:
A good Integrated Conflict Management System covers a spectrum of dispute resolution practices from formal, to informal, and developmental.
“If you are going to be viewed as a leader in your organization and survive and thrive at work, you must develop your own conflict approach and develop a reputation for leadership in conflict management and consensus building.”
Lynne Eisaguirre, Author of Stop Pissing Me Off! What to Do When the People You Work With Drive You Crazy and The Power of a Good Fight: How to Embrace Conflict to Drive Creativity, Productivity and Innovation
Developmental conflict management practices are those which begin to unlock potential through skills development.
Leaders that recognise good conflict management as a strategic competitive advantage are building cultures that extract full value from conflict.
Such Integrated Conflict Management Systems are the culmination of methods developed analytically, in a way that is compatible with the cultural conflict of any business through a process of ‘kaizen’ – the Japanese expression for ‘continuous improvement’.
This chart shows the attributes of a system with several entry points and their implications:
It shows the informal and formal processes and in particular, the ways that the “NICI Principles” apply to “Safe Space” options. The NICI Principles are the four standards that are critical for employees to engage in a way that provides safety from retaliation when dealing with conflict.
It is the Safe Space part of a system that is crucial to constructive conflict management. Safe Space also serves management that values undiluted, raw feedback to monitor trends and early warnings of all sorts. [This data is of course provided in aggregated and anonymous form.]
Safe Space is “owned” by a person that functions uniquely in an organisation, who is:
NEUTRAL + INDEPENDENT + CONFIDENTIAL + INFORMAL = N I C I
This chart below shows examples of conflict situations and the way that an employee might see the options available and their implications.
Note how important it is for employees to be adept at having Brave Discussions in order to “manage conflict early, at the lowest level by the people involved, and without third party involvement”.
Notice also how the provision of Safe Space functions to contextualise and get help developing options when dealing with conflict that gets complicated and threatening.
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