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Communication and Conflict Resolution

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Contributed by Bruce Calvin, JD, President, Calvin Associates Inc.


Creating and Building Effective Organizational Partnerships
March 8th. 9a.m.

After spending over 35 years in the human resources profession honing my craft in the “art” of how to address and keep communication lines open between human beings, a very obvious phenomena has clearly emerged. Over the last several years, it has become more and more evident that communication, our ability to express ourselves in verbal, visional and/or non-verbal form with other human beings is being redefined. 

If there is a potential conflict brewing and/or a misunderstanding has surfaced, it appears the safest and fastest way to respond is by text or emailing the other party. It’s not that this is a bad way of communicating, it just needs to be used in its proper context when there isn’t a potential or perceived issue. In those situations when potential misunderstandings and/or issues begin to arise, so many times a short face to face conversation has allowed misunderstandings to be cleared up. If the conversation is only by text or email, by the third text or email, the real issue is buried and emotional levels are heightened to a pitch. 

Yes it’s easier to just text or email, but unfortunately text and email are, as we know, cold and clinical and usually can and will be taken out of context and/or just taken the wrong way and the flurry begins between the parties. Usually conversation stops between the parties, sides start being taken and you have a communication shutdown. Another challenge occurs when someone inside tries to get the parties to resolve the communication challenge and it usually turns out worse. It’s not because the person trying to fix the issue can’t do it, it’s because they’re just too close to the issue, that’s all. Until, as I call them, an outside neutral “parent/adult” party is brought in and helps get communication lines open in a non-emotional way it cannot get better. 

An experienced outside neutral party will use one or more of the following, either individual counseling, conflict resolution or mediation. When allegations are raised, an investigation may be initiated. Since 2015 I have been focusing on how to help individuals and teams understand that yes, text and email are a critical and time saving method of communicating today. To fully be effective in the art of communicating is the ability to communicate to other human beings on a physical one-on-one basis. It’s not so much the actual communication but more the how we initiate and ensure communication lines stay both open and focused on an equitable resolution. 

By focusing on the issue and not the person, we ensure a better chance of working through to an equitable compromised solution. This provides the opportunity to improve morale, initiate partnerships and is often noticed in a positive light by upper management. I recently had the opportunity to share with the I-680 Commercial Information Exchange the subject of “Communication and Conflict Resolution.” 

I covered the basics of understanding the why we act and respond the way we do and individual tools we can use to effectively open and maintain better lines of communication. In addition, how to use conflict resolution tools and an understanding of the connectivity each of our own individual cultural diversity can contribute to team and organizational success.

Have questions, facing similar challenges? Let’s connect!

I'll be speaking at HR West 2017 on March 8th. 
Creating and Building Effective Organizational Partnerships
9:00am  -  10:15am
Are you attending?  
Register for #HRWest17 with Spkr100 to receive $100 off.


Tags:  Bruce Calvin  Communication Training  HR Coaching  HR Management  HR Training  HR West 2017 

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