Monday, 9 July 2007
A great article here by fellow blogger Jamie Notter with no less than 5 tips on just how to embrace conflict. Please do click through to read them.
I responded in his comments that I once spent all day in a meeting where we there were some serious managerial issues to resolve. I knew that one of the non-agenda, unspoken issues was a dispute between two members and I spent the best part of the day trying to get that dispute to surface.
If we didn't then the ongoing animosity would have surfaced in some other environment or at an inopportune moment. At least if we wrestled with it here and now then we could ensure it was safe to explore the topic. I call this "bloodletting", a safe controlled releasing of the pressure.
A greater concern of mine was that if the matter was left unresolved then it would have sabotaged the real progress we had made that day.
It was frustrating that we got to 30 minutes of the end of the meeting only for the topic to rear its head then. I do wish we had got it out earlier. The participant who raised the issue had been worried that if he had raised the objections earlier that he would have spoiled the meeting.
A pity. If we are able to recognise our differences and embrace our conflicts, then we create such richly textured, sincere relationships on which to build future agreements. Who knows what we could have achieved. Who knows what suggestions might have been held back before the grievances were aired and resolved.