Greg Baker, on June 30, 2012
In my recent Advance Update article, Managing Unintentional Conflict in Business, I introduced a phenomenon at work in our businesses today that I have labeled “Unintentional Conflict.” I described how unintentional conflict shows up at the individual, operational, and organizational levels, and is quite prevalent in our business enterprises. In this blog I will focus on managing unintentional conflict in operations by resolving my example of unintentional conflict to create what we call operational “shared space”.
Greg Baker, on June 14, 2012
While the genesis of unintentional conflict is often obscured, the costly disruption and dysfunction that result from it are usually quite visible. Such was the case with our story about Jane and her client Sandy in our last Advance Update, Managing Unintentional Conflict in Business. Let’s revisit the story and then discuss how to resolve the issue, or in this case avoid it by acquiring the skills to manage unintentional conflict.
Jane is meeting with her new client, Sandy, to make some recommendations for how to address some pressing problems on their project. Jane loves to engage in small talk and storytelling with people, including clients, to build relationships. (more…)
This article and its related blog series is about managing unintentional conflict in business, and the dramatic benefits of doing so. But why unintentional conflict? It turns out that most conflict in business is unintentional. Yes, there are those who intentionally pick fights, damage the reputations of others, stir up controversy, and otherwise operate in a self-serving manner at the expense of others. However, in our businesses, if you take away all of that intentional conflict you are still left with a majority of the conflict.
How can that be? Most folks in business seem like decent people. If you get rid of the “bad eggs” how could there still be that much conflict? The truth is that most businesses and those of us in them create unintentional conflict – some more than others. A certain amount of this is inevitable. After all, we are not perfect. However, as I will discuss in this article, there is much that can be done to see and avoid creating unintentional conflict.
More and more, professionals and consultants must conduct interviews with clients and stakeholders to inform and build alignment around important initiatives and projects. The goal is to create shared space during stakeholder interviews. However, that doesn’t always happen. For example, when interviewing others, have you ever had frustrations like:
This is the second in a series of blog articles about being thrown under the bus and what you can do about it. In the first article I suggested that you Don’t Throw People Under the Bus. There are almost always better ways to respond. Since that post several of you have asked about what you do if your boss throws you under the bus – so we are dedicating this blog to answering that question.
This is a tricky topic. Because it has many flavors, you must be careful in understanding your particular circumstance before acting. (more…)