Developing a Competency in Conflict Resolution

Dateline:  Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year! Welcome to our Friday WRAP 2013!  This blog is a spinout of the IT Leaders Forum.  Each Friday, we publish a short blog, with a link to something found around the web, and a though provoking question for the weekend.  The Friday WRAP has been around in a private mode for several years, but today, we launch the public version.

The beginning of the year is the time for new year resolutions and envisioning the changes we want to make in the coming year.  One area often on our list is around dealing with people and resolving conflicts that arise.  Conflict-resolution is critical to ‘clearing the air’ and making significant strides in productivity and effectiveness.

Recently an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, Inside the Elephant Room, described travel-site Kayak’s unorthodox problem-solving method.  A conference room at Kayak contains a two-foot tall stuffed elephant they named Annabelle.  It was co-founder and CTO Paul English’s idea. “So often at work, people have issues that they can’t resolve because they won’t talk about it.  I don’t like that.  We try to be shockingly transparent about everything here.  Annabelle is a symbol of that.”  According to the article,

The idea, he says, was to give the staff a place to have the kind of uncomfortable, face-to-face disagreements that too often get hashed out on e-mail, where they tend to escalate and waste time. Corporations sometimes try to remedy such passive aggression with conflict-resolution training programs and annual reviews. Kayak opted for a Annabelle, a plush toy.

What conflict do you need to resolve in 2013 to move ahead with your vision and increase your effectiveness?  How will you do it?  How can you make conflict resolution among your team a competency?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a wonderful weekend and a great beginning to 2013.

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