blogging about DIRECT LEADERSHIP

Conflict dissolution …

with one comment

I know, the common terms are ‘resolution’ or ‘solving’. However, real conflict solving literally makes the conflict go away, dissolve and give way to all sorts of good stuff: clarity, enthusiasm, joy, creativity…

I blog about this today, because I am in the middle of a conflict dissolution process myself. To solve it, we are following Jim Tamm and Ron Luyet’s approach to problem solving (a method called Radical Collaboration) – and both I and my counterparts are experiencing that one by one those things, which have for a while felt so aggravating and unnerving, now dissolve like sugar grains in a glass of water. We can no longer see the grains, but the taste of the water has changed and become more energizing.

Why is this process so successful? For several reasons.

One is that we are spending an unusual amount of time to explore and understand every single interest, which is at stake. Another reason is, that the aim is to create a solution, which satisfies as many of each party’s interests as possible. And finally, we consistently try to look beyond traditional ideas right and wrong. As a result we have set ourselves free to be both rational, irrational, reasonable, unreasonable… and above all creative about solutions.

Is there a lesson here in relation to everyday leadership? Well, I think so.

As leaders, we easily become the target of people’s projections or raise emotions, simply by virtue of our responsibility for being the person who judges what is good/bad/right or wrong. Just as the role of team builder will call for us as mediators in conflicts among our staff.

Conflict dissolution is an important side of the people skills, which must go hand in hand with the leadership deliverables, if we want the outcome to be solid, visible everyday leadership.


Written by Karin Zastrow

May 4, 2011 at 21:15

Posted in Misc

One Response

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  1. Nice to see you blogging again!…
    I agree! Dissolution is the way to go, because it builds possibilities for the future of that particular relationship and others that bring out that same aspect of defensiveness in me. It sets a different tone that merely finding a “solution”, but disolving what got us into trouble in the first place. For leaders, surely nice to get some defensiveness out of the way! 😉 Working through my CONFLICT DISSOLUTION process (4 2-hour sessions that take you through our booklet on the subject with exercises to do much of what you describe), a participant recently saw the power of the work he was doing. I quote him: “I can’t believe working on this one difficulty so much would help me to see other instances where I react in the same way, even before they have escalated into difficulty.”


    Monica Diaz

    May 5, 2011 at 01:41

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