We first explored the history of the conflict with the current manager, previous managers and the three employees. We summarized that history and identified key criteria for possible success in managing this conflict. Because one of the employees was senior to the immediate manager, the diagnosis included the need for the CEO of the company to be involved in the design of a solution.

The consultant became negotiator with the three employees, and consultant to the leaders of the employees. Basic requirements were identified by the leaders and conveyed to the employees. Plans were made for negotiations among the employees.

We worked with each employee individually and the three together establishing agreements for behavior. New insights were shared but full resolution was not reached after such a long history of the conflict. However, agreements were made among the three regarding future behavior with each other. These agreements have allowed the work of the company to proceed with vital contributions from all three employees. We prefer to work conflict issues in the early stages, but we can support dealing with the conflict at any stage if the leaders are committed. Conflict is most often the source of creativity when managed early and well.


Copyright 2004-2011 Lynda B. Detterman. All rights reserved.