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AGM: June 8, 2019
Hello Bonnie, it would depemd on the type of conflict you were thinking of. Each situation calls for a particular style of conflict management.
What a fantastic question. Thank you, BL!
From my experience in both perspectives (as a frustrated member and as a board member that members are frustrated with) it seems that the majority of the time, conflict is not a personal attack. One of my personal strategies is to keep in mind that the other person has a goal, need, or value and I'm not meeting their expectation. That helps to keep me grounded and focused on identifying what the true issue is. In order to be able to resolve conflict, I have to be able to identify what I've been doing that isn't effective. I can only do this by remaining respectful, engaged and keeping communication open.
Conflict resolution also requires being vulnerable and being able to own my mistakes. I will make mistakes, but my significant growth has come from being able to acknowledge that my approach isn't working, no matter how well-intended my choices have been. When I have been concerned, frustrated or even angry and hurt and have approached leaders who don't acknowledge where I am coming from, I feel dismissed, irrelevant and ignored. The leaders who have acknowledged me, and opened the door to communication even if they don't agree with me, in the end, have made me feel respected and valued. In turn, I trust them. I try to employ these strategies both in my personal and professional conflict.
Appreciate it. BL (Bonnie-Lyn)
After consideration of your question, I thought I would offer the membership on my thoughts of a model that I think could respond to a range of conflict themes. There are two potential models towards conflict resolution that I will be working with along with feedback from the board, its membership, and the communities.
I hope for a collaborative model of conflict management in which there is the great appreciation for the opportunity to address the conflict, respecting and taking the perspective on conflict and pain, and working together to move forward. This model is a circular conflict resolution model by Joanna Macy in her book, "Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy." I chose to use this conflict resolution process as it includes a model of compassion and gratitude for blessings within the North American Indigenous perspective. I believe that appreciation would benefit the conflict resolution process as this would create an appreciation for the benefit of new perspectives that arise from the conflict.
In order, the model would be:
1. We take a clear view of reality;
2. We identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed;
3. We take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction.
Additionally, the development of a conflict resolution process is itself an ever-changing process as this process is interconnected with people involved. The goal of the conflict resolution is to move towards resolution, and we could measure ourselves using the Cynefin framework which moves from turbulence, having no cause and effect relationships for conflicts, to recognizing a need for creative approaches, fact management style and then finally discovering a cause and effect relationship with a resolution. The Cynefin framework is also a circular framework which was created by David Snowden in 2003. This model is a conflict management style based on systems thinking and learning theories.
(ASL to be posted).
Kurtz, C. F., & Snowden, D. J. (2003). The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IBM Systems Journal, 42(3), 462-483. doi:10.1147/sj.423.0462
Macy, J., & Johnstone, C. (2012). Active hope: How to face the mess we're in without going crazy. Warriewood, N.S.W.: Finch Publishing.