"Little of significance has ever been
accomplished without conflict."
                           -  Bert Couch
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CONFLICT PREVENTION AND RESOLUTION

When Conflict is Bad Business

If you don’t know what to do – do nothing. This is what happens when leadership or staff are in conflict – staff performance dwindles as they await clear, united cues and direction. This eventually leads to overall declining business performance. Conflict, discord, and controversy exist in nearly every organization. It may be visible in open conflict, but more often lurks just beneath the surface of day-to-day operations – a powerful phantom irritant that disrupts creative flow and productivity.

Signs of conflict:
  • Resistance to change
  • Silence in meetings
  • Complaining after meetings
  • Blaming
  • Arguing
  • The “look”
  • Unwillingness to problem solve
  • Low appreciation for what’s good
  • Destructive confrontation
  • Escalation
  • Low participation in brainstorming
  • Not signing up for completing next steps

The Conflict Volcano

Like molten lava bubbling deep within a volcano, disputes can simmer for very long periods of time.... representing a threatening force, growing in intensity until it erupts with terrible destruction. However, properly understood and harnessed, the powerful force of nature that can annihilate, can also produce something
very positive: geothermal energy. Signal Tree brings its understanding of the Conflict Volcano to transform conflict’s destructive potential into creativity productivity.

Conflict’s destructive potential is transformed into creativity and productivity, particularly for organizations that see value in knowing and resolving unaddressed conflict. Nestle Corporation, Ohio Department of Mental Health, and Main Street Gourmet are three organizations that have instituted creative and constructive conflict resolution cultures. Signal Tree also conducts work place mediations for deeply entrenched conflicts.

Resolution Options

Signal Tree uses inventive and dynamic processes to help identify and resolve conflicts, create a cohesive corporate culture, and develop tools for mediating future roadblocks to success.

Group Problem Solving

Organization boards and top staff members often experience conflict among key leaders, along with lackluster performance, or the inability to accomplish goals. These group members sometimes feel frustrated and often believe their hands are tied regarding the resolution of important operating matters.

The difference between a weak task force and a high-performance work team comes from the willingness of members to subordinate their own personal goals and agendas to those of the team or organization.

Signal Tree possesses uncanny expertise, tools, and skills to analyze situations that team or corporate members see or sense, but do not believe that they are empowered to change. Once an analysis is conducted, Signal Tree works with appropriate stakeholders to identify and implement solutions.

Culture Management

Leadership often determines the goals and direction of an organization through a business lens, assuming or overlooking the need to set and communicate values, ethics, and vision. Leaders who are proactive in creating, communicating, and reinforcing values, ethics, and vision provide the guiding principles that employees need to work together effectively. Otherwise, human nature takes over and an arbitrary culture emerges that actually becomes an obstacle – even destructive – to health, growth, productivity and success of an organization.

Signal Tree assesses your organization’s current culture, and assists in strengthening and shaping a culture in which:
    a) People work effectively together – even when they hold strong differences of opinion
    b) Differences are constructively capitalized upon
    c) Emotional energy is focused on goals and problem – solving, not on people
    d) Desired results and performance satisfaction are accomplished

Building the right corporate culture sets the tone and climate for success – enhancing and improving performance and accountability – and creating ownership of results into the culture.

Mediation

Mediation, also referred to in the legal system as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), is a way of resolving conflict that preserves relationships, empowers participants to author their own solution, and costs less than litigating in court. Thirty-one states, of which Ohio is one, provide state sponsored programs and assistance.

The primary advantage of mediation is to resolve disputes without damaging relationships. The mediation process involves a neutral third-party (mediator) to help resolve or negotiate differences, between two or more individuals or entities. In mediation, the focus is on issues, solutions, and civility. It is especially valuable when circumstances warrant the need to remain on cordial terms, such as disputes between neighbors, business partners, co-workers or co-parents. Unlike lawsuits, which can polarize and ultimately destroy relationships, mediation strives to maintain them.

In a lawsuit, all power is lost to attorneys and judges. Right or wrong, like it or not, the decision rests with the court. In mediation, the parties in conflict retain power of their decision-making. The mediator does not decide the outcome. The mediator’s role is solely to help the parties define their own resolution. While there is a certain amount of “give-and-take” in mediation, no one is ever asked to compromise core values, best interests or key beliefs. It is difficult for parties to lose in mediation because each party retains the right to accept or reject any proposal.

Mediation is swift, confidential, fair, and lower in cost when compared to litigation. Over 85% of Signal Tree's mediation clients reach full accord.

Signal Tree's Mediation Services

For Business:
  • Human Resources and Employment
  • Workplace Conflict
  • Partnership Issues
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Employee Relations
  • Consultation and Leadership Issues
  • Consumer Complaints
  • Mediation and Conflict Management Trainings

For Organizations, Schools & Community Groups:
  • Board & Staff Relations
  • Consumer Issues and Community Relations
  • Peer Mediation
  • Neighborhood Disputes
  • Mediation Training
  • Conflict Resolution Seminars