CONFLICT RESOLUTION & RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT...
Appropriate Resolutions for life’s relationships.
“HOW KAREN AND HER COLLEAGUES CHANGED THEIR WORKPLACE REALITY” continued.
FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL LEADERS, capacity/competency needs were identified, including coaching, then action plans were implemented to meet those needs.
FOCUS ON OPERATIONAL STAFF: through a process similar to the leadership team’s, two inter-dependent teams clarified individual and group needs and committed to interpersonal and operational norms (standards).
FOCUS ON ALIGNMENT - PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER: staff and leaders were aligned so that everyone was on the same page (a common understanding) and committed to a shared vision, mission, and ‘best practices.’
FOCUS ON MAINTENANCE: Team maintenance being a critical element for long term stability, and so that history wouldn’t repeat itself, work-groups and teams developed maintenance strategies for difference management, decision-making and problem-solving.
To emphasize the critical nature of Relational Maintenance (RM), a strategy for any environment, I also stressed that their progress was a beginning, not an end. That relationships, like their cars, require ongoing maintenance if they are to remain 'functioning'. Like that metaphorical car which has never been tuned or maintained, a relationship in which 'bumps and grinds' are ignored will no doubt begin spewing ‘black smoke’ as it breaks down; not so much different from Karen's experiences as she described them. Although they often know differently, it is always a conundrum for me how people can continue to do nothing and expect the ‘relationship vehicle’ to take them where they want to go. Human relationships are even more complex and unpredictable than any machine and often more fragile than that prized auto; if they are to keep on working without someone ‘blowing a gasket’, they will need maintenance and periodic ‘fixing’.
THE BOTTOM LINE: a preferred reality and optimistic future
It is always inspiring for me to observe leaders and staff move from misery to hope, from frustration to relative satisfaction, and from cynicism to commitment. Once people have a map they can follow, and adequate resources for the journey, most people will work to create their preferred reality. The process is rarely easy, for some it may be the most difficult thing they do. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that “…the outcome will be worthwhile and a healthier organization will evolve.” The added benefit is that the same principles apply to any group which has to manage conflict related challenges. The words and details may sound and look different, but people are human so many of the same principles apply. And for the icing on the cake, once successful, people in relationships, including staff, leaders, and the organization in this case study, will grow and re-vitalize. As in families and neighbourhoods, people need to accept the risk, 'put the monsters on the table'… and then tame them; that is if healthy and functioning relationships are a priority.
ABOUT Conflict... What conflicts look like…
Disputes … WHAT DO DISPUTES LOOK LIKE, and how do people react or respond when conflicts escalate into disputes? (the many faces of conflict),.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION TIPS AND GUIDELINES: Strategies and behaviours for you to apply when in conflict.
CONFLICT CHRONICLES: Original stories by Joseph Ravick with a common theme. The chronicles feature real-life conflicts describing the people, their relationships, and the outcomes which they experienced whether they liked it or not.