CONFLICT RESOLUTION & RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT...
Appropriate Resolutions for life’s relationships.
The Huge Cost of Being Right
The reality is the bottom line when it comes to resolving conflicts
and disputes in business (or anywhere).
Like it or not, conflict between people is inevitable, yet fair and acceptable resolution is not. In business as in life, people interact and their differences lead to conflict and, often, to dispute. As Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton wrote in their influential book, Getting To Yes, “Whether in business, government, or the family, people reach most decisions through negotiation.” Processes dating back to ancient times and cultures have been labelled as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) strategies and are increasingly preferred for resolving business and personal disagreements.
As was so often observed in many of the conflicts we were asked to help resolve, the following three teams of business owners had to make vital decisions when negotiations failed, resulting in disputes that took on a life of their own. (Names and some details have been altered to protect confidentiality.)
Home-based business vs. strata council
Bill Jones wasn’t worried when illness waylaid him; optimistically, this 45-year-old entrepreneur decided to refocus his time and energy in a home-based business. He would market previously owned treasures through an Internet auction site with the help of his wife and teenage son. Their townhouse almost paid for, Jones thought he was secure in his home office and showroom-warehouse. Until one of his neighbours objected.
Bill's strata council told him to cease and desist, and in that moment of heightened stress and anger, all Jones could see was a long battle ahead with little guarantee of success. With little thought for the consequences, he didn’t comply with or even answer the directive, generating a predictable reaction from Charles Stewart, the council president.
From there, the dispute became increasingly personal, pitting neighbour against neighbour.
A court finally settled the dispute and everyone walked away tense and angry. Jones and his family had to move and significant residual tensions remained between some neighbours. So who won? Everybody lost, and unnecessarily. Jones would have done well to heed Sun Tzu’s 2,500-year-old aphorism: “The smartest strategy in war is the one that allows you to achieve your objectives without having to fight.”
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.