Conflict Resolution, Part 2

+ Return to Blog Home
August 4, 2013

Resolving conflicts, simple or complex, requires the grounding in interpersonal commincations, thinking, negotiation, influences, and persuasion. The process runs from formal, legal processes, e.g., lawsuits, to important matters that remain outside the realm of the court of law, the everyday issues in organizational leadership. Sometimes referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), these range from grievance programs to arbitration to mediation, some voluntary and some not. Complex business environments need all of these models.

Mediation and arbitration share one purpose: to bring parties together so they can devise a best solution. Most arbitration is dictated and takes the organization out of the process; most mediation is a form of voluntary intervention where conflicting parties select a third party to mediate their dispute. There are some guidelines, such as the moral commitment to resolve differences, just as there are certain kinds of matters that are not suited to such informal forms of dispute resolution, such as legal matters and important precedents on organizational matters where the locus of control is with management or with the governing board. Every day leaders negotiate, influence, and persuade. Some cases require outside guidance to diffuse the tensions, remove the perception of overbearing control by one party, and to bring a process of rigor to the matter to create a chance for a better outcome.