Conflict management and change process

Over recent weeks, I have discussed several techniques for leading a team through the process of change. For example, we have looked at areas such as Gestalt psychology and Appreciative Inquiry, which help you foster trust, acceptance and participation in the change process and so reduce the need for conflict management. While all of these […]

Managing conflict in the workplace

Over recent weeks, I have been talking at length about the different personalities and dynamics that we come across in any working environment and today I’m going to broaden that out to look at managing conflict. The fact is that everyone is different, and has their own values, attitudes and ways of expressing themselves. Another […]

Difficult conversations and emotional intelligence, Part Three

If you want to properly assess the appropriate ways to deal with conflict, it is best to consider examples as well as mere theory. Aesthetics are vital for learning and visualisation through past examples of a situation being resolved is a useful asset to have when thinking about difficult conversations and emotional intelligence. Many successful […]

Emotion – the ‘elephant in the room’ in team conflict (Part 1)

Where does team conflict come from? One of the answers, of course, seems obvious once you name it: emotion. Aggressive emotion to be precise. Emotion can overheat – it’s volatile stuff – and it makes much better sense to learn to become aware of its influence, both in us and in our colleagues or bosses. Leadership […]

Rivalry and reptile brains: converting rivals into allies, Part Two

Let’s walk through Professor Brian Uzzi’s “3Rs” of converting rivals into allies. A young business school graduate has been appointed to a managerial position in a huge multinational company. He’s talented, intelligent, and exudes the kind of emotional, intellectual and behavioural alignments that excellent business leaders need. However, he has a problem: he has managerial […]

Organisational development: working with complexity and the unexpected

Organisational Development (OD) aims at healthy organisational change through harnessing a common value base and collaborative inquiry. In reality, however, organisational life, and change, turns out to be a lot messier and a lot more unpredictable. A traditional model would see the process of OD like this: an OD consultant meets and gains entry to […]

Office politics

When politics is all over UK television and a topic of discussion in every pub, it would be odd if people didn’t talk about it at work. Even if the company itself is scrupulously neutral, individual employees will still have opinions and sometimes those opinions can lead to conflict. How can you manage office politics […]

Constructive Workplace Conflict

Some forms of constructive workplace conflict can generate productive and creative conversations that lead to genuine innovation. However, fighting in the workplace is a different kettle of fish; it is nearly always destructive and it is nearly always what clients really mean when they ask me to consult over workplace conflict. University of Pennsylvania research […]