Blog 3B. You Can Resolve Conflicts in Your Company

 

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This portion of the blog continues where the last portion, Blog 3A, left off.

Note that the pictures in this and other blog posts, where not drawn by me, are from Pixabay.com.

  1. Conflicts from a split-up.

Split-ups cause conflict the instant the CEO announces one. Everyone in the company worries. What will the new companies be? Who will lead each? Who will stay? Who will be fired? The worries block creativity and productivity. Fear makes our brain go into “fight or flight” responses instead.

It helps to have a series of meetings like those for mergers.

  1. People who no longer contribute to the company.

Some have burned out. They may need to rest; a change of task or need help dealing with burnout.

Some are upset by believing their advice is not valued or someone else stopped respecting them.

Some miss a colleague who has left.

Some have a problem at home that takes all their attention.

To handle these problems, explore the root causes with the person.

The most serious is a person who resents the company’s goals and now has a hidden agenda. Many companies fail because one person has a hidden agenda.

I’ve used compassion and empathy to examine such a person’s agenda and feel their fear. There is something they believe they can’t deal with.

Then, I’ve facilitated open discussion between the executive team, the person with the agenda, and anyone else who was directly involved on either side. Now the agenda isn’t hidden. Open discussion will strengthen the company.

Sometimes the person will realign with the company’s goals. People with criminal tendencies, with a basic disruptive attitude, or whose fear comes from an illness usually need to retire or be fired.

  1. Executives and managers who follow the adage, “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”

This problem is due to the function and organization of our brains. A manager may respond to a minor issue in a way that “shuts down” subordinates’ brains. It’s how the subordinate’s feel the manager’s response, not how the manager views it. The subordinates go into fight-or-flight mode. This can be handled but it takes a long time and a lot of work. There are short-cuts and there are ways to prevent the problem.

  1. A cultural gap in your corporation.

Cultural gaps are expensive to fix. It takes a year or two. Done well, a poorly performing company becomes highly effective and productive.

I’m attached to AchieveCorp.com. They analyze the cultural gap with three tools, one for the whole corporation, another for silos, and a third for workgroups. After that, experts from AchieveCorp collaborate with the the company giving expertise about changing culture while company provides expertise about its work, clients, and vendors.

Contact me at 650-762-6755 or pieterk@post.harvard.edu for more information or to start a conversation.

Pieter Kark, MD, San Mateo, CA 94401-2238

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