Few professionals or leaders are trained in conflict management – this is where your friendly neighborhood Organizational Ombuds comes in. More and more businesses of all sizes are embedding Ombuds services into their organizations, trusted advisors who can provide support in all kinds of areas – proactive conflict awareness, conflict diagnosis, coaching, training, team development, company policy updates and compliance, shuttle diplomacy, mediation and more.Read More
Important Topics on Harnessing the Power of Conflict
- Building Great Teams 23
- Conflict Data Points 9
- Conflict Tools 37
- Conflict in the Workplace 19
- Costs & Value of Conflict 3
- Culture and Conflict 10
- Difficult Conversations 6
- Groupthink 5
- Innovation and Conflict 16
- Mediation 10
- Mergers and Acquisitions 4
- Ombudsman 4
- Productive Workplace 11
- Teamwork 9
- Trust Building in Teams 12
- Understanding Conflict 20
- World of Conflict 3
Is there someone on your team or workspace who just pushes your buttons? “Conflict Triggers” are a fact of life in a team. Our response to them can either move a conversation forward constructively, or precipitate conflict that’s headed for negative outcomes.
At a workshop I led with Laura Weiss called “Understanding Conflict Hooks at Work,” at the Community Boards, a conflict resolution center in San Francisco, we helped people realize how easy and natural it is to get triggered by someone else behavior, and how they can respond constructively - with a little help from “Frasier!”Read More
On average an ombuds will see 3-5% of an organization’s members in the course of a year. Our work as organizational ombuds has increased steadily over the last couple of years, where we’re initially called in because someone in leadership is being dogged by a “small” conflict that won’t go away but keeps festering and growing until they can’t sweep it under the rug any longer. (From there, we typically enter a contractual arrangement with clients where we serve as their ongoing go-to ombuds, mediator, and conflict adviser.)Read More
Your friendly neighborhood Organizational Ombuds is a trusted navigator for an era of accelerated change. We serve organizations and leaders of all types, guiding them through the changing business (and world) landscape, challenging decisions, and sticky “people” situations that inevitably accompany growth.Read More
As conflict adviser and ombuds to businesses, I talk a lot about the importance of building trust in an organizational culture, within teams, and among team members. Trust is the key ingredient in client relationships as well.
Behavioral studies and stats reveal that we consumers base most of our buying decisions and loyalty to a company/brand on trust.Read More
Harnessing the power of positive conflict in your team and workplace creates a higher level of engagement, decision-making, innovative thinking, and productivity. The foundational factor that creates this kind of high-performing team? Simply put, Trust.
Here’s a quick exercise to help build trust in your team…
What makes you trust someone? Is it that you believe they’re competent? That you feel safe with them? That they’re well-meaning and want to help? You might say, it depends. Or, one of these possibilities feels much more important to you than another. Is it possible that someone else might have a completely different set of factors for trusting that same person?
These simple questions have already uncovered a lot of layers, wouldn’t you say? That’s why we say that building trust in a team is an ongoing process that is as complex as the varying personalities, backgrounds, and experiences of each and every member.
It’s no secret that organizations, of every stripe and under every flag, are experiencing the disruptive power of rapid social, political, economic, and technological change. And we are in an era increasingly defined by polarization and conflict.
Today, it’s more about engaging people to come together around critical decisions for a lasting, positive impact. Ombuds around the world are increasingly involved in proactive problem-solving, toward the goal of instilling respect, civility, and justice in organizations and professional relationships. Ombuds help individuals return to productivity and contribution in the workplace. The modern ombuds works every day to create a positive culture, inform systemic change, and identify risk. And more than ever, especially in the C-suite, we have a seat at the table as conflict advisers.Read More
Albert Einstein once said, "The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity... Out of discord, harmony... And out of difficult, opportunity."
He could have been sitting in the corner of the conference room where I was convening as Organizational Ombuds for a team that was stuck - there was (emotional) clutter, plenty of discord, and a really difficult situation. Tension was high, people were venting. At any moment (my experience told me) someone could explode with frustration. It was like a freight train approaching the room, about to crash!
In our training as Ombuds, aka Conflict Advisers, we see this often in mediation situations.
I had just finished a tough series of mediated conversations with a large co-founder team in the San Francisco Bay area. A coming together happened, agreements for sustainable change were made. Most of the change they promised each other was around behaviors, and they asked me to stay involved to make sure what they promised each other actually happened.
This was not unusual in our work - doing follow-up sessions, phone calls, check-ins, and staying on top of team agreements until implementation is complete. Experience has taught us that the mediation is oftentimes the easy part, compared to the actual work of implementing all the agreements the newly-mediated team has agreed upon.Read More
“How could conflict possibly be good for a business?” Conflict is not good or bad, or something that we can guard against like the flu. Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and a necessary part of teamwork, innovation, problem-solving, and change. What we do with the opposing ideas or needs that we call conflict can result in positive or negative outcomes, depending on how we handle them.Read More
Volumes of research have been written about organizational culture as it relates to employee satisfaction. In our work as conflict advisers we always circle back to a foundational piece: Trust.
What happens when a team, a group of employees, or individuals with differing levels of trust (or huge amounts of distrust) begin to rub against each other and abrade relationships which turn into unproductive conflict? Enter the Trust Formula.Read More
Behind most disputes is a system that perpetuates the problem. Uncovering the system will reveal why these negative conflict outcomes keep coming back, and, hopefully, how to fix them for good.
What do we mean by “system?”
Have you ever been on a business team where the same issues seem to arise again and again? You thought you had dealt with the problem by training, shuffling the team, dismissing a person who was obviously at the center of the issue, or simply waiting for it to take care of itself - only to see something similar rear its ugly head a few weeks, months, or even years later.
If this is the case, count on the possibility that something deeper - systemic - is going on within your team or within your workplace. So, the challenge is to get to the root of the problem.Read More
Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation. How, as a leader, do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict? Read on…Read More
Harnessing the power of positive conflict in your team and workplace creates a higher level of engagement, decision-making, innovative thinking, and productivity. The functional factor that creates this kind of high-performing team? Simply put, Trust.
Trust is something most people see as “soft,” unquantifiable and not worth measuring, thus not an element of good business to be considered.
Not so, according to our research, surveys, on-the-ground experience, and team training tool! Most importantly, trust is a trait that can be developed, improved upon and nurtured - a crucial consideration for any leader who wants to build high-quality, high-performing teams.Read More
It’s not an easy thing to spot - or accept - lack of trust from your team members. Erosion of trust could originate from any number of things: poor workplace policies, unsettling (true or untrue) rumors circulating around, lack of communication from management, disgruntled employee or partner disputes, or an organizational culture that doesn’t value its people.
Whatever the cause, the longer it persists the more difficult it is to rebuild that loss of trust. And the more dangerous it is to an organization’s ability to function successfully. Trust starts with leadership.Read More
Let’s face it: If you have more than two people in a room tasked to accomplish something, you have the possibility of conflict - different ideas, personalities, “conflict hooks” all bouncing against each other. You as the leader are responsible for ensuring a positive exchange and productive outcome. You set the example in your behavior which will lean your group either to resistance (read unproductive conflict) or to cooperation (mastering the productive, innovative power of conflict)..
Here are 10 behaviors that elicit cooperation and allow positive, healthy, productive conflict.Read More
It is never too soon to start building the foundation of constructive conflict into your team(s), to harness that creative power as well as preempt potential negative conflict.
Bottom-line reason? Conflict is one of the most powerful tools teams can have. Harnessing constructive conflict creates an exciting environment of innovation, forward momentum and productivity. Negative outcomes from conflict emerge when it is ignored.
I’m going to share with you some of the conflict-handling behaviors you might be able to spot in your team members - or yourself!Read More
If the ingredients of a successful workplace team include trust, open communication, support, respect, cohesiveness, healthy conflict, and fun … what happens when an abrasive leader or “bully boss” is tossed into the mix?
You got it - a recipe for disaster for the whole organization! If that leader’s behavior were to change, would the organization be more successful? The answer is a resounding yes. But how to address what is surely a sticky situation when a power position is in question?
Employee retention has become a big issue lately in this period of national economic growth and consistently low unemployment rates. So opportunity is knocking for great talent. You may not be hiring, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to this hot market trend.
You may have a valued employee who is, at this moment, looking around for a “better” opportunity.
This is a crucial time for organizations to assess their employee retention policies and, perhaps more importantly, their employee job satisfaction levels.Read More