“Our organisation is a family.  Quite often clients will point this out.  With gravity.  As though this is a guarantee of light, peace and tranquility.   A haven safe from conflict.  But of course all families are dysfunctional.  As poet and author of the family memoir “The Liars Club” says, “ a dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it”.

Perhaps this accounts for the raging success of this family.  Ages ago I read a review about them entitled “Is this the only real family on TV?”

Family confict

conflict in families is normal – just as conflict in teams in normal

Conflict is natural in teams

No matter how you describe your team, if you choose to work together, you will have conflict.  And it is a good idea to deal with conflict..  It is worth getting together as a team from time to time to address the topics that are making your life together difficult.  I have addressed this in other postings about conflict and confrontation.  And if you are decide to talk through the issues, its a good idea to prepare yourself for the conflict dialogue.

How you go in governs what you get out.  The mind-frame of each person entering a confrontation is important for effective dialogue.  I therefore ask the members of teams to prepare for sessions.  Preparation keeps the input focussed, comprehensive and coherent.  Identifying the problem clearly and accurately allows the team to make the best use of their time.  I suggest they consider:

  • The issue: A concise description of the troublesome concern, challenge, opportunity, or pattern or relationship.
  • Recent occurrences:  What has happened in the last month or two that has illustrated the issue?
  • The significance:  What’s at stake?  How does this affect money, income, people, products, services, customers, family, timing, the future, or other relevant factors?
  • The impact:  What does the future look like if the issue is not resolved?
  • Relevant background information:  How, when, why, and where did the issue start?  Who are the key players?  Which forces are at work?  What is the issue’s current status?
  • Their judgements:  “What is the positive story I tell myself about the person I blame for the problem?”
  • Their actions and contributions:    What is my contribution to the cause of the issue? What have I done to address the issue?
  • The ideal outcome:  What specific results do I want?

Are you ready to confront the issue holding back your success?  Or are you choosing to pretend everything is just ‘swell’ or ‘hunky dory’?