When life is stable, people with differing agendas can often rub along without too much tension. During change the dynamics shift. People who feel threatened by the change, perceived or otherwise, start operating in different ways. Differing opinions become much more acute and visible. This is healthy and normal. However, when robust and open communication doesn’t take place, or when personalities start to become bigger than the issue, things can become more problematic.
In the above circumstances, what started as incidental tensions can quickly develop into deep seated conflicts. Getting aligned decisions, when some team members are at loggerheads with each other (either overtly or covertly) is tough. As you’ll have experienced, it takes somewhat more than the usual processes to achieve!
Conflicts now start to have far-reaching impact for the organisational transformation agenda. In effect the tension ‘rubs off’ onto others, fundamentally souring broader team relationships and dynamics. Leading organisational transformation without addressing these issues is risky – some more local transformation is needed first!
The direct and indirect cost of conflict is significant in terms of the:
- Disproportionate amount of management time it absorbs
- Impact on Team effectiveness - people avoiding each other, or focused on who is right/wrong rather than on customers or patients
- Individuals –conflict never enhances anyone’s professional standing!
- Significant legal costsand time/process when things cannot be resolved internally.
Relay have deep expertise in this area and a strong track record of resolving tough inter-personal situations.
To learn more about Relay’s Conflict Resolution work, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org