Conflict within an Organization

by Lexi Gonzales*

Conflict has a negative connotation, but whether or not conflict leaves a positive or negative impact on an organization depends on how it is handled.

Handling a conflict between an organizations’ executive board is critical. An organization’s executive members are the leaders and role models for other members. They must be able to work as a team in order to manage the organization. Conflict between them effects the organization as a whole.

If not addressed tensions can grow and leave negative impressions on the organization, but when addressed in a timely, effective, manner it can become beneficial.

Conflict can be constructive or destructive.

Constructive conflict is when the overall end result of a conflict is mutually beneficial to the organization. It prompts for open communication. It helps members develop better collaboration skills and relationships. It also assists in building a stronger organization.

Destructive conflict is when a negative mark is left on the group. It tends to split the organization into sides and not fully resolve the problem and leads to issues in the future. It promotes inequality and an imbalance of power, often damaging relationships.

To achieve a constructive end results and organization should try to plan a meeting strictly for address the issue. If members don’t feel comfortable to face the issue without a professional facilitator they can always make an appointment at our office for mediation.

These several steps will help come to a resolution for conflict.

Accept and activate awareness.

The board must be able to accept that there is a problem on hand in order to fix it. This is important because without recognition an issue can grow from a minor problem to a major problem and the end result could very well end the organization. When addressing problem, members should shy away from placing the blame on anyone. Nothing gets resolved by simply blaming someone.

Aim.

Define what the organization is aiming to resolve after recognizing the issue. How is this conflict affect the organization? Is it keep the organization from its overall goal? If so what must we do in order to fix it? Why are we at where we are now currently? What must we do to get where we want to be?

Acknowledge.

Acknowledge all events related or unrelated to the issue. This helps the organization be aware of what built up to the conflict. Giving them and idea on how everything happen, what needs to be fixed, and what can be done differently in the future to prevent problems.

Seek accountability and address issues.

In this step members should be looking at all individuals and members not directly involved in the issue and see how the unsolved issue is affect them. This helps the members involved in the conflict discover that resolving any issues does not only benefit them but the organization as the whole. This step allows members to take accountability for their actions.

Award.

It is important to reach closure in order to resolve the conflict fully and prevent future issue to arise from past conflict. Make it known that all issues have been resolved and the executive board is stronger than ever and ready to work for their organization.

Remember “Forest fires keep burning because of the underbrush not because of the large trees”.

If your organization is having trouble resolving conflict feel free to make an appointment with our office for mediation.

Visit http://www.bearkatlaw.com, our Facebook page, our Twitter, or shsu.edu/legalservice for more updates and details, or call us at 936.294.1717 for more information.

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