Conflict is ubiquitous in the office. It’s no surprise. I bet you tend to postpone difficult conversations for fear of negative repercussions. Most people do! Yet each time you do that, you throw a new uncommunicated complaint on your pile of frustration. Thus the pile grows bigger and bigger, until it tumbles. Ironically, you then have what you tried to avoid: conflict. Because you just cannot take it any more. That’s when you need skills for resolving conflict – or someone who can help you do it. To get you started, we are sharing a conversation between Simon Sinek and William Ury, co-author of the negotiation bible Getting to Yes.
What to expect from the resource.
Sinek and Ury uncover the commonalities between entrenched conflicts as large as that between the Right and the Left in the USA, and as small as one deteriorating marriage. Ury then shares what we can learn from indigenous cultures about resolving conflict. You’ll find that they look at conflicts radically differently than our individualist cultures. And with more success.
What we love about it.
What we love about this conversation are insights like this: We need more conflict in the world, not less. Why? Because under the surface, so many suppressed thoughts and emotions are bubbling. And they stand between us. We need to surface these hidden conflicts if we want to be able to transform them. If you’d have done that in your marriage earlier on, you would not be in a pickle now. If the progressives had paid more attention to those who’ve felt left behind for decades, the USA would not be in its current, dangerous polarised state. Even better than resolving conflict is to learn how to avoid it. That of course requires you to stop sweeping things under the carpet and to name what’s going on before it goes onto the pile of frustration.
Why it matters to leadership in organisations.
What’s the reality for the USA and for legions of marriages is also true for teams and whole organisations. Unspoken conflicts get in the way of co-creating the results that everybody wants. That’s why leaders need to be curious about what’s simmering below the surface. Uncovering that helps you transform your organisation into a community of leaders who work together towards a common goal. The price of not doing that are rising numbers of people who quit and leave, and people who quit and stay. The art of turning conflict into the productive conflict of ideas is the mark of the learning organisation. Resolving conflict is a key leadership skill and it can be learnt.