I’m still thinking about that 1950s Handbook of Preparedness from Rod’s scrapbook, in part because I’ve received so many notes from readers about it. Apparently I’m not alone in looking back at “duck and cover” with awe at the naivete!
There was another section of Rod’s booklet that offers an idea with merit for conflict resolution and I thought I’d share it with you. The opening paragraph reads,
There are three phases of family preparedness which could mean the difference between life and death in a disaster: home shelter, disaster know-how, first aid.
If we could reduce the draconian approach a bit, these three phases handily mirror the three phases organizational leaders and managers can use to manage workplace conflict effectively:
Conflict Shelter: It’s an interesting idea…a place that people in your workplace can consider “shelter in the storm.” It’s a place where they feel safe, can get their balance back, figure out what to do next. You want someone in or associated with your organization who can be that shelter (but not be the person who sympathizes so much they inadvertently increase the conflict) and be a trusted resource to the persons involved.
Conflict Know-How: This one is no surprise, right? The way you respond to a workplace conflict can make the difference between an entrenched problem and a cohesive team. You want someone in or associated with your organization who knows how to engage conflict successfully, how to use conflict to build greater creativity and better decision-making.
Conflict First Aid: Do you have an organizational conflict triage person? Sometimes that person is an HR professional, though sometimes HR managers are tempted to “pat down” a conflict instead of work to resolve it in the way a trained mediator would. You want someone in or associated with your workplace who knows how to help folks respond to a conflict without that response leading to further destructiveness or stalled resolution.
If I can be of service in helping your organization with its conflict preparedness and response, I’m a phone call or email away.