Hi, Welcome to another session on adaptive leadership. In this session, we take a look at orchestrating conflicts. Solving adaptive challenges requires people to learn, unlearn and relearn different things. Adaptive challenges are not easy. They require involvement of people who are directly or indirectly affected by the problem. This means the authority figure has the role of asking the right question aimed at pushing those involved with the issue to resolve their differences and find a working solution for their problems rather than imposing a solution to them. Involving people in society provides another set of challenges as conflicts will arise. The conflict may arise due to differences in ideologies, economic status, age and interests.
Conflicts are very important as they provide the opportunity of narrowing the gap between aspirations and reality and solving conflicts help in providing a conducive environment for people to work together and make commitment towards the cause. In society, people have different ways and extents of tolerating conflicts whenever they arise. Some people will:
Do nothing: Doing nothing is the easiest response towards a conflict. People take this option to maintain the equilibrium in the organisation. They aim not to make things messy. Systems within organizations have rewarded people who take this response and as such organisations remain unchanged.
React by flight or fight: Taking initiative to bring conflict into the open and engaging different groups of people by asking correct questions and providing a conducive environment for people to engage and find out common ground. If things get tough, one gets on the defensive side to cleanse themselves from the mess.
Look to authority: Relying upon people in authority to resolve conflict. People in authority are expected to preserve calm in the organisation.
When conflict arises, there is no need to resolve it as an authority figure. Solving it may easily expose you ending up being regarded as a barrier. Providing a conducive environment for different factions to air their views and get to the conclusion of the kind of steps or remedies is key to the success of your work. Many ideas, answers and commitments can be obtained from conflicts. Just like in preparing stew, in exercising leadership you need to know the amount of heat to put and at what stage you may need to adjust it.
Thank you for watching.