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Opinion: Designing conflict into your organisation

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HC Online | 15 Jul 2014, 11:24 AM Agree 0
Don’t seek to deal with workplace bullying by getting rid of conflict, instead develop the capability of your organisation to have healthy conflict, writes Danielle Carney, principal consultant of PEEL HR Consulting & Mediation.
  • Gary Namie | 16 Jul 2014, 06:03 AM Agree 0
    Everything the author says about building a tolerance for dissent and creative thought and conflict in orgs makes sense. She veers way off course by assuming that bullying is conflict. It is a form of violence and not subject to control by mediation or traditional conflict resolution tools.
  • Danielle Carney | 17 Jul 2014, 11:27 PM Agree 0
    i appreciate your comment, Gary. You make a very valid point - mediation is not appropriate in circumstances of predatory bullying. However, bullying often arises when there is escalated conflict. Early intervention into the conflict (by a Leader or employee) is an effective preventative measure to the risk of workplace bullying.
  • Trevor Hall | 18 Jul 2014, 10:22 PM Agree 0
    I like the points raised in the article - an alternative view, if you like, of conflict, encouraging us to consider that it's normal to have conflict in organisations. One of the most effective ways in which we at Hydro Kurri Kurri used Peel HR was in training both HR staff and union delegates together, in the same classroom, in conflict resolution techniques. We found that with the right tools, knowledge and language, delegates were skilled to solve many conflicts before they grew. On one occasion, a senior HR staff member and a union delegate met with two men in conflict and sorted out an ongoing dispute. That's the point when I knew we were onto something - maybe designing conflict resolution into the organisation?
  • Michelle Bishop | 01 Aug 2014, 09:21 PM Agree 0
    Thank you for a very interesting article Danielle. I think there is a long way to go in ensuring organisations can leverage from the benefits of a diverse workforce. Managing conflict without discouraging difference of opinions is essential in avoiding "Groupthink".
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