Learning to Resolve Conflict for the Best Possible Outcome

Let’s be real, the news has been bleak when it comes to the opportunity for reconciliation and resolution around harassment, discrimination, and abuse. After the 2016 presidential election, many of us took a step back in disbelief, realizing how polarized the United States has become. We’ve seen protesters on the side of white supremacy and protesters on the side of feminism and gun control. Sometimes these protesters are in the same family circles. Throughout the country, people are shouting loudly to have their voices heard in ways that sometimes seem irreconcilable.

Many of our workplaces are microcosms of this larger picture, which can create intense and even crisis levels of conflict. If you are a boss who genuinely wants to create an inclusive, healthy environment, this puts you in a difficult position. Do you just fire everyone who disagrees politically or ideologically with you? That would be contrary to the ideals of inclusion, but unless you have a system implemented in your business to resolve crisis level conflict, sometimes it feels necessary.

Unfortunately, we look around at the current systems implemented in the United States and they are less than effective at truly resolving conflict. Sometimes, we see great politicians able to speak to both sides of the divided country and bring us together with a common goal, but seeing one person who is exceptionally good at resolving conflict doesn’t help the rest of us. It is too person-specific. Barack Obama is unlikely to drop into your staff meeting to help everyone see things from another perspective.