Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

Conflict can be distinguished from healthy differences in perspective by the impacts it has on people and outcomes. Healthy differences in perspective are necessary for innovation and diversity in teams, promoting authenticity, problem-solving and coherence.

Does your culture promote healthy differences in perspective? One way test that is the answer to the following question: what am I, or others, not allowed to express in this organisation? If there are things that are not damaging or hurtful that you or others aren’t allowed to say, chances are your culture could benefit from increased openness and psychological safety.

A diagram showing a supporting versus abandoning grid. The horizontal axis represents You, the vertical axis represents Me. Forward on an axis is supporting, backwards on an axis is abandoning. Abandoning You/Me is Avoidance; Abandoning You and Supporting Me is Domination; Supporting You and Abandoning Me is Submission; Supporting You/Me is Collaboration. Compromise is in the centre.

A couple with a woman attempting to talk to a man who is avoiding a discussion


happens when a person treats something as a non-issue and does not address it. It occurs when that person doesn’t feel equipped to deal with the situation. Left unaddressed, the problem will get worse and trust between people and the within the organisation as a whole suffers.

Two people arm wrestling


is where one person treats the issue as if it is a contest with a winner and a loser. They try to enforce their will using a variety of tactics such as cajoling, ordering, threatening or manipulating the other person into the outcome they want, wasting energy in control tactics that could be better spent on inspiring others.

Person laying face-down with a white flag raised


occurs when a person ‘gives in’, ‘gives up’ or ‘gives over’. The useful energy + perspective that they have is sacrificed for another person’s vision, and their efforts accordingly lack commitment or inspiration.

Two figures of different colours with a house split along those same colour lines


is often hailed as the answer to effective conflict management but requires each party to give over or give up on aspects of their vision, and so results in sub-par or mediocre outcomes.

Coloured lines merging into one arrow moving forward


is what happens when people take the time to understand the interest and values of the other person and commit to an outcome that includes what is important to both parties.

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