May 22, 2024

Corporate CPR Episode 122: How Not Managing Conflict Within Your Organization Might Be Killing Your Company

On today’s episode we are talking about how not managing conflict within your organization might be killing your company.

Carol Bowser, J.D is a workplace conflict expert. After practicing Employment Law for several years, Carol founded Conflict Management Strategies when she realized a lawsuit can’t deliver the level of resolution and satisfaction that is gained when people are actively involved in creating solutions to their workplace conflict.

Carol’s clients come with a wide range of employers because conflict is universal across all industries and types of organizations. Where there are people, there is conflict. The key is to help people recognize and address conflict before it damages working relationships and creates organizational drag. In her over 20 years of experience, she has discovered some universal themes about workplace conflict and loves to share how people at all levels can strengthen their conflict resolution muscles.

Episode Highlights:

  • Nuanced nature of conflict: Conflict within an organization is nuanced, neither inherently good nor bad. Its impact depends on factors such as power dynamics, organizational culture, and individual perspectives.
  • Variety in healthy conflict: Healthy conflict varies among individuals, ranging from calm, data-driven discussions to quicker, more direct approaches. Understanding and respecting these differences in communication styles is essential for fostering productive conflict resolution.
  • Cultivating a culture of healthy conflict: Building a culture where conflict is seen as an opportunity for growth requires continuous effort. This includes role modeling, providing training, and encouraging open communication, while also addressing power imbalances and equipping individuals with skills to prepare for constructive conflict resolution.
  • Effective Communication Techniques: Strategies like mirroring and using “I” messages enhance communication by demonstrating active listening and expressing thoughts without accusation.
  • Managing Conflict Dynamics: Understanding power dynamics is crucial; the dominant communication style often sets the tone. Balancing power involves controlling pace, facilitating equal participation, and encouraging diverse perspectives.
  • Long-Term Relationship Building: Conflict resolution isn’t just about negotiation tactics; it’s about fostering trust and respect for ongoing working relationships. Prioritizing open communication and maintaining respect, even during disagreements, builds positive long-term connections.

Top 3 Takeaways for the Audience:

  1. Just like financial literacy, conflict resolution skills are essential in professional settings. Despite its importance, formal training is often lacking, so investing in personal development and seeking mentorship can be invaluable.
  2. Even top executives grapple with high-stakes decisions and spend considerable time preparing for challenging conversations. Acknowledging discomfort and seeking support or guidance is essential for effective conflict resolution.
  3. Consistency between organizational values and operational practices is key to reducing frustration and preventing burnout. Addressing any disconnects can mitigate conflicts and foster a healthier work environment.

How to Connect with Carol:



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