Systemic issues that cause conflicts in teams

Systemic issues that cause conflicts in teams

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.

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How to Build Constructive Conflict into Your Team

How to Build Constructive Conflict into Your Team

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!

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3 Fundamentals to Understanding Trust Within Your Team

3 Fundamentals to Understanding Trust Within Your Team

Whether your team is a startup partnership, annual fund drive committee, you and your siblings working together to make caretaking decisions for your parents, or the exec board for a Fortune 500 company, understanding trust is a cornerstone of getting the job done well.

A treasured mentor and colleague once told me. “There is no such thing as trust.” That one comment has had me puzzled and searching for answers for years - in a good way.

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Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Instead of avoiding conflict which only makes it more destructive, welcome conflict in your workplace as a tool for creative interaction, innovation, and employee engagement. Well-managed conflict is good for business!

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How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

“Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.” ~ Mark Batson Baril

Conflict - probably not the first item on your business-building success list, right?  However, conflict is a natural occurrence in your workplace and can either catalyze positive experiences that boost growth, or negative experiences that have been known to break a company. So, time to put it on your list!

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Workplace Conflict: How to Deal with Hot Buttons

Workplace Conflict: How to Deal with Hot Buttons

Have you ever said: “That person just presses my buttons”? We call these 'conflict hooks', because your reaction to the button-pusher has the potential to feed conflict. Understanding what conflict hooks are can help you and your team make better response choices. 

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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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Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution in Teams

Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution in Teams

Team members work in increasingly diverse environments: in terms of age (there are more older workers), gender (there are more women), race (there are more people of color), language (there are more languages spoken), and nationality (there are more immigrants). Beyond these differences, there are also deeper cultural differences that influence the way conflict is approached.

The use of teams represents an important change in the way we work. The theory is that through the interdependency of the parts greater productivity is achieved by the whole. Experience has been less kind. One reason that teams fail to meet performance expectations is their paralysis through unresolved conflict. This article focuses on the impact of culture on the prevention and resolution of conflict in teams.

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Organizational Conflict Management - What's a System?

Organizational Conflict Management - What's a System?

While conflict may be a constant, paradigms to explain conflict in organizations have changed. Systems thinking or chaos theory is the latest paradigm that has been used to understand organizational conflict. The demise of the mechanistic worldview allows us to contemplate how organizations deal with conflict through a fresh set of lenses.

The term "system" is widely used in the field of organizational conflict management. The Federal Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group recently sponsored a brown bag Session-"Growing Your ADR Program - Are You Ready for a System?"-that focused on examples of two agencies 'that are attempting to replace ADR programs with ADR systems.'

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The Psychology of Conflict in the Workplace

The Psychology of Conflict in the Workplace

Many of us spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the company of this group of people known as our workplace. To understand how conflict shows up in the workplace, consider this: Each of us is shaped by experiences as far back as our early childhood, and (often subconsciously) we bring those experiences into our daily lives, and in the workplace, every day.

One can only imagine what each of us is bringing to the collective table that we can’t possibly know or understand in the other, let alone in ourselves! Is it any wonder conflict happens?

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Trauma Informed Mediation - Guidance for Mediators and Ombuds Working In Traumatized Communities

Trauma Informed Mediation - Guidance for Mediators and Ombuds Working In Traumatized Communities

For mediators and ombuds working in traumatized communities, it is critical to have an approach that is trauma sensitive and trauma informed. Trauma  is extremely complex and multi-layered. For our purposes we will address only a few essential aspects. These include:

  1. Basic understanding of the nature and effects of trauma
  2. Basic understanding of vicarious or secondary trauma
  3. Basic practices for self care
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Reactions to Conflict: Childhood Decides

Reactions to Conflict: Childhood Decides

Seeking to understand the root of conflict is a complex task. The importance of early experience cannot be overstated as we attempt to navigate and resolve conflicts in families, communities, and within systems. Often unnoticed, but critically important, is the effect of early childhood experiences and the results that may appear later in life, making traditional mediation and conflict resolution efforts appear at the very least confusing, and often daunting. For ombuds, mediators, and alternative dispute resolution practitioners, increasing our awareness of the ways in which childhood decides is helpful in our understanding of how human beings react and respond in the face of conflict.

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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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Got Innovation? Quantify your team’s conflict capacity with the Innovation Estimator™

Got Innovation? Quantify your team’s conflict capacity with the Innovation Estimator™

I last wrote about the new Conflict Calculator™ and the benefits of measuring the costs associated with negative conflict outcomes in teams. This time I’d like to focus on the flip side of that equation, the cost to a business for not having a team dynamic that embraces and uses conflict for positive outcomes.

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Got Conflict? Measure the $ Cost with the Conflict Calculator™

Got Conflict? Measure the $ Cost with the Conflict Calculator™

“Show me the money!” After a year of interviews, research, and working on the Resologics model I have heard that statement from many, many people. Business savvy folks want to know what a conflict is actually costing them in real dollars. We set out in early November of 2013 to build a single calculator that would show exactly that.

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Conflict Systems at Work in Startups

Conflict Systems at Work in Startups

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.

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Conflict Spirals Within Business Teams

Conflict Spirals Within Business Teams

Knowing when you or your team is in a conflict spiral, and how to exit from it, is critical in supporting high performance and consistent growth. The healthy environment in business teams where strong relationships and bold ideas mix and bang together is called the Creative Tension Zone. Teams fall out of the Creative Tension Zone for a variety of reasons.

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Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

I have put together and delivered a workshop at several business incubators recently.  I have fun with it because I really enjoy watching the faces of the participants when a piece of information answers a question they have been struggling with for years. What is that question?

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Business Busting Conflicts are Real and Frequent in Startup Teams

Business Busting Conflicts are Real and Frequent in Startup Teams

Destructive conflicts are real and frequent in startup companies. Almost two thirds of all startups that fail, fail due to interpersonal conflicts, disputes, and problems within the management team (Wasserman). 

In 2012, after having worked for almost five years as a mediator, conflict coach, trainer, and confidant in more than 300 business conflict management cases, I was struck by a few cases in particular. They were cases involving ....

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