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Win at Work!: The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Katz PhD

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Chapter 1. The Power of the Circle in Conflict Resolution

I work with organizations of every kind and size and I never cease to be amazed at how rarely companies offer emotionally intelligent processes for resolving conflicts. Think about it: Have you ever, when you started a new job, attended a seminar that explains "how we resolve conflicts here"? I'd be surprised if your answer were yes. Most of the time employees are told by management, "We are a team here!" For some reason, companies seem to expect their employees to come to the job knowing instinctively which steps to take to address challenges they face on the job. If there is training on this important topic, it tends to be idealized, and fails to make a direct connection to the actual culture of the organization.

Why People Have Problems Resolving Conflicts

In my experience, very few organizations can articulate the most effective (and realistic) approach to problem solving and conflict resolution, even though employees are called upon to use this skill every single day. If a manager does say, "Okay folks, we've got to stop the bickering, and get along here," there's rarely even a hint as to how to stop the bickering, beyond the nondescript "behave and get along" type of instruction. If an attempt is made to get to the cause of the conflict, it usually results in assigning blame. Once there is an assignment of blame, opposing sides resort to blame avoidance and reluctance or refusal to take responsibility. I call this the ...

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