Just came back from Montreal Jazz Festival. Survived heat wave while listening to incredible music with artists from Canada, US, England, Columbia and even Australia. In thinking about our next blog, realized that playing music in a band is a lot like being a team member in your organization.
How, you ask. Well consider you have a diverse group of musicians, and they play different instruments. Yet, their goal is for each of them to contribute to music you will listen to. Now in your organization a diverse group of employees with different skill sets. And you each contribute to what the mission is. Further even when one musician steps out for a solo, it’s done within the context of the whole song. Again, when an individual takes a lead on a presentation or project, it’s done within the context of the whole project.
Also, I think we all agree musicians do not simply come together and make great music immediately. Just taking a wild guess, took many hours of practice. Having to learn each other’s needs & strengths and how to mesh them towards the music. Another guess, that journey had some conflict and they had to work through that also.
Now, in your organization, don’t you need to learn each other’s needs and strengths to reach your objective. And to reach that goal, won’t there be conflict you must deal with and resolve. The answer to both those questions is YES.
So, the next time you are listening to and enjoying music, just think about what it took to make that music and how that is similar to what we all should be should be doing.
At I & I Resolutions, we cannot make you great musicians, however, we can help your organization work together, including helping you resolve those conflicts that can prevent you from accomplishing your goal. So, let's connect and discuss ways we can bring you closer to your objectives.
Until the next time from the table of Thomas and Andy, to quote the Doobie Brothers, “Listen to the Music.” Take care and talk soon.
After years of distrust and broken agreements, the United States and the former Soviet Union USSR, that was the SALT I and SALT II nuclear weapons treaties were accomplished utilizing Interest Based Negotiations Principles! I thought, my God, no one hates, distrusts each other as these two parties! If it can work for them.
Make no mistake, doing this ain’t easy! But it DOES NOT require Love, just understanding an active listening and learning what the true interest and surrounding issues are for the conflicted other party!
You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to Love. But you should, as I have, when applying the principles, learn what the REAL ISSUES AND INTERESTS are!
So before being dismissive, ask yourself; is the conflict and parties involved really more complicated than the US/Soviet relationship? Because again, it worked successfully for them and it can work to at least identify the real and sometimes, underlying issues. That after all is the only way to resolve conflict and create lasting solutions.
See you next time! Thomas and Andy
Feelings. Let’s be clear, feelings are very personal and in the mind of the feeler their feelings are correct. No one can ever tell someone how they feel or that their feelings are wrong.
Regardless of what the receiver thinks, he or she cannot tell the sender how they feel. Many times conflict gets caught up in the explosion of feelings. That explosion may actually unearth the true problem from the perspective of that person.
We can’t forget the other party in this conflict. They also have feelings which are personal, near and dear, just important and true to them. Thomas and Andy have a lifetime of experience of dealing with parties who have had these feelings.
That insight and experience, not theory, allows us to gain the trust and confidence of the parties that their truths are heard by all. We are truly committed to the following, if it (your feelings) are important to you, they are important to us.
But know this. While we fully understand and respect the individual’s feelings, we harken back to the immortal words of the rock band, The Eagles, “there are three sides to every story, yours, mine and the cold-hard truth”. While this provides a little humor, we at I & I Resolutions cannot emphasize enough, not every conflict is solvable. However, we can assure you that we will do everything in our ability to make sure you have identified the proper conflict.
Take a few moments to speak with us. It could make a positive difference in your workplace.
As children we resolved our dispute using the weapons of words because size was so disparate. Words are powerful and they are the essence of mediation. We need to convey our thoughts and feelings through the words we communicate including validating those thoughts & feelings. Also, one of the great compliments we constantly hear about mediation is that may be the first and only opportunity to convey your thoughts and feelings in a safe place.
One of the best descriptions we have heard about mediation is that it is a facilitated discussion where all of the parties in the dispute can speak their thoughts/feelings and listen to the thoughts/feelings of others.
With the assistance of an impartial third party, we can do what we did as children growing up, use discussion and talk to each other instead of past each other. This usually leads to more durable resolutions (again see how important defining the problem). Also, even if the parties do not resolve the conflict mediation, they are miles ahead of where they were in understanding the conflict and each other.
Thomas and Andy feel uniquely qualified as mediators and conversationalists to help you by actively listening to your issues and concerns and asking the right questions to draw out the true conflict.
Be sure to look next week as we address the topic of people’s feelings.
(Part 1) What’s the problem? Easy question, or so it seems? Before you go charging your Omaha beach, let’s take a step back and let’s begin a metaphoric pre or post mortem if you will, of common misunderstandings of most practitioners have in ‘what’s the problem”
Conflict is critical in life and most stories, plays and TV shows. How it is developed for media is one thing. How it unfolds in life, uncontrolled, is quite another!
In a land of make believe, we can control & utilize conflict in a variety of ways. In the real world, workplace, it does not work like that. A critical misunderstanding from theorists and non-practitioners is to solve a problem without really understanding with what they are trying to solve.
Let us recap. Already we have defined conflict as real and fictitious and we have spoken conflict that is controlled and that which is not. For example, what would MASH be like without the character of Frank Burns, the antagonis? Or the Big Bang Theory without Sheldon and countless conflict with everyone. Again, this is controlled and done for purpose.
Uncontrolled conflict by its nature, is not as manipulative, but can have the same positive effects if identified properly. Think about it, do we dive into a car repair, medical issue, house repair, without first properly defining what the problem and how much it will it cost. Once you understand the problem and the cost, then you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Therefore, before any of us try to resolve any problems, it behooves to properly take the time to identify what the real problem is. In the workplace it could be something as simple as a work procedure, or as complicated as how you act with other employees. Thomas and Andy have done this with numerous individuals and groups and seen it work. They guarantee few things, but as close guarantee as they would, if you utilize their services you will have made a herculean effort and succeed in defining what your problem is.
Stayed tune, more to follow (film at 11).
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