Mediator on the Mekong: Notes from the Field

Mediator on the Mekong: Notes from the Field

This is the first in a series of posts from Resologics' Senior Practitioner Scott Martin. Offering an inside glimpse into the wide-reaching impact that mediators can have in the world...not to mention the adventures!

It’s my third day in Yangon (Myanmar), and I’ve been doing my best to fit in.  I’ve got a longyi tied around my waist just right, a tucked-in collared shirt, and sandals just like the locals.  Maybe it’s the bright papier-mache giraffe sticking out of my pack or the handlebar mustache, but as I stroll through the park, locals freely point, giggle and some stop to take a picture with me.  Clearly blending in will take some time.

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Culture & Conflict: Keys to a Smoother Organizational Change Effort

Culture & Conflict: Keys to a Smoother Organizational Change Effort

Seasoned leaders know that the road to a successful change management process is not always a smooth one. Strategy, structure, tech, resources and capacity all may be in place and positioned for an effective effort. However, what are often missed are factors that can be crucial to success and that can blindside the unwary leader. In two words: Conflict and Culture.

Conflict is an inevitable part of change...

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Cops and Communities: How Conflict Management Training Can Help

Cops and Communities: How Conflict Management Training Can Help

We have entered an era of increased police scrutiny, sparked by recent accounts of abusive police practices. People we never knew suddenly have become household names representing the many sad sides of this issue, and a highly emotional and complicated discourse has occupied our society.

No one disputes that the job of the police officer is a dangerous and often thankless one. They put their lives on the line every day, with the potential of facing an armed, hardheaded, impulsive, predatory, violent person, and under constant pressure to make quick, potentially life-or-death decisions. And no one would dispute that the core mission and obligation of law enforcement is to protect life, keep peace, enforce society’s laws, and offer a framework for people to live freely without the worry of victimization.

21st Century Policing: Conflict Management Training...

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Is Mediation Enough?

Is Mediation Enough?

I’ve been working on better ways to deal with conflict in organizations for more than 40 years. And my understanding of conflict, its effects in organizations and of how best to reduce its harms and capitalize on its benefits has certainly evolved. I learned from hard experience that grievances and lawsuits can leave personal scars and do permanent damage to work relationships. Mediation produces better results with less damage. A stint as an organizational ombudsman taught me that discussing disputes confidentially, off the record could yield good solutions and help keep work relationships intact. I’ve been working on better ways to deal with conflict in organizations for more than 40 years. And my understanding of conflict, its effects in organizations and of how best to reduce its harms and capitalize on its benefits has certainly evolved. I learned from hard experience that grievances and lawsuits can leave personal scars and do permanent damage to work relationships. Mediation produces better results with less damage. A stint as an organizational ombudsman taught me that discussing disputes confidentially, off the record could yield good solutions and help keep work relationships intact. 

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The Leader's Guide: The Key to Boosting Employee Engagement in Your Workplace - It’s Not What You Think

The Leader's Guide: The Key to Boosting Employee Engagement in Your Workplace - It’s Not What You Think

Employee engagement is a hot topic in business these days, and for good reason. To put the issue into stark perspective, here are two statistics for you: 70% of U.S. workers have been found to be either not engaged or actively disengaged at work (Source: Gallup “State of the American Workplace” 2014 report); and increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year (Source: Workplace Research Foundation). 

What is the key to increased employee engagement? Higher compensation, company outings and better food in the cafeteria help, but achieving sustainable success goes much deeper than this. For us, conflict advisors who work with individuals, leaders and teams on-site in all kinds of organizations, what consistently rises to the top is this factor:

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How Conflict in the Workplace isn’t as Bad as You Think (and What to Do About it)

How Conflict in the Workplace isn’t as Bad as You Think (and What to Do About it)

An HR director I know who works for a 500+ person company, described their technique for working with conflict this way: “We don’t work with conflict proactively. We sweep it under the rug until at some point we’re tripping over the bump in the rug. That’s when we deal with it.”

Conflict avoidance is one natural way for humans to get through difficult conversations at home. In some cases, it can help keep the peace and may be a good way to roll. Avoidance also happens in a work environment, especially in teams that have not built the mutual trust needed to have difficult conversations on a regular basis.

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Your Team’s Not a Courtroom; Upgrade from Dispute Resolution to Conflict Management

Your Team’s Not a Courtroom; Upgrade from Dispute Resolution to Conflict Management

Dispute resolution misses, then, two critical components that conflict management handles. Dispute resolution lacks proactive prevention and doesn’t harness the beneficial power of conflict.

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Harness the Power of Conflict to Spur Innovation & Productivity

Harness the Power of Conflict to Spur Innovation & Productivity

Constructive Conflict is an extremely valuable tool that can help business teams enhance performance when it is actively and thoughtfully engaged in. The unplanned for and haphazard use of conflict within teams can sometimes enhance performance, yet carries with it the greater risk of negative outcomes when compared to anticipated and structured intellectual conflict interactions. Without some constructive conflict planning, teams tend towards conflict avoidance and accomodating behavior that can lead to stagnation and destructive conflicts.

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Business Culture Resilience for Founders – Work with Conflict

Business Culture Resilience for Founders – Work with Conflict

The following ideas for deescalating and preventing destructive conflict from slowing down or taking over your business are huge and much easier said than done. The ability to practice them in real time when you are in the midst of rising tensions comes with practice, patience, self-reflection and pure guts.

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