GOODWILL TO ALL…and choose your ‘present’…

‘Good will to all…’ is a popular phrase at this time of year.  As a way to wish each other well - willing good if you like.  Whilst probably not totally informed by the Latin or Greek, we would like to wish you and those you care about a wonderful festive time

[We know the ‘good will to all’ phrase often ends with the word ‘men’ – and for those who like the modern shift in language we have seen over recent decades (from the Guerrilla Girls to those championing female Anglican bishops) , you will probably love the refrain of this image from January 2009 on the theme of the wise men! ]

Conflict – a suitable festive theme?

As well as being the season of good cheer, we know the Christmas period can be stressful for many people.  And at work it can be hard to feel good or ‘will good’.  In our experience this is often when people don’t think their point of view is valued or they are stuck in a disagreement with other colleagues, customers or stakeholders.

Following the thoughts we shared here, we have been researching conflict (its origins in organisational life and the opportunities and obstacles it presents) through a series of interviews with a range of people from many sectors.

We are now at the stage where we can share the first insights from this on-going study across a range of organisations. First, we are seeking to redeem the word: knowing how to differ well is a key skill – neither ‘avoiding the issue’ nor ‘fighting all the time’ helps in making progress when there is conflict. Second, we think a key way unproductive, or ‘locked’, conflict is resolved is through comparing individual stories. This involves, though not necessarily in this order, taking stock of the past, building a shared view of the present situation and developing a collective , preferred ‘story of the future’. There are practical tools for this. We will outline some of these from our work and the literature, such as those promoted by Patrick Lencioni in his increasingly popular work.

The Choice – is yours

So now the choice…of ‘present‘ (well presentational format!). Last year we offered a webinar on personal productivity. This was very popular and can still be heard here. This year, we would like to present the information from our conflict research in the way you find most useful. Might that be a webinar, a brief paper, a slide deck, a 1:1 chat on the phone, a workshop? Our most recent blog asks you think about your preference for different development methods. Have a read and let know how you would most like to ‘get into’ the findings or the research. We will then give you the most popular choices – a sort of late Christmas present, if you will.

Happy Christmas.
Happy Conflict (yes, we believe it can be!).
Happy Choice.

With best wishes,

Phil and Ross – and the wider idenk team