The Peace Table and the Boardroom

Black and white handshake

In today’s world, war and conflict resolution is more prevalent than ever. We are teaching peace to our children in the schools, but are we living it in the corporate world daily?

Do we have processes in place to resolve conflict when it arises? The work environment must be a professional community where cordial relationships of mutual respect, admiration and cooperation develop. However, there are also opportunities for competition, disagreements, conflict and politics. Any situation like that diminishes the effectiveness of the work environment. This conflict scenario can be seen as an opportunity for growth.

In the work environment, the leader has developed and worked hard to be in this key position. So too, this individual should be the one to guide the teams into effective conflict management. However, let us refer to this as the PEACE AND PRODUCTIVITY PROCESS

We must  internalize this process and start applying them in our own lives. That can be in our family, in our circle of friends, in our workplace, in the Staff Room. The principles are the same as in all our environments. Conflicts need to be resolved in order to restore the harmony of the community.

Here are some pointers:

  • There has to be an honest desire to resolve the conflict.
  • The courage to identify and verbalize one’s feelings in a civil way, uninterruptedly.
  • To be listened to respectfully and carefully.

A critical Steps to ensure resolution in the Boardroom is to verify that you understand what the issue is, by seeking clarity up front; the animosity that weighed heavily on the participants becomes alleviated once the truth has been verbalized and now the effort is made to clear the air and the emotional tension completely. It is possible, and fun, if both egos are kept in check and good will prevails.

In the boardroom egos may be the strongest and politics the vilest. Yet, in that community, especially a consensus has to be reached that conflicts need to be resolved peacefully and in order to achieve a goal the two participants in the matter have to be genuinely desirous to resolve the conflict.

Total integrity is key in this case. After all, we are supposedly dealing with two mature adults who have the best interest of the cause they are supporting at heart. Is it possible to put politics aside in the boardroom? When the chips are down it most certainly should be. Let us face it, the truth stated on both sides is going to solve the conflict, or at least move it to a different level, to a different point of contention. An authentic desire for a fair resolution on both sides cannot but produce positive results.

It certainly starts by trying to see and understand the situation from the other person’s point of view. That can only be done if the point has been stated candidly. Consequently, it comes down to the very simple principles started in school, look the person in the eye, say their name, and tells them how you feel and why. Take it from there.

In a case an adult disagreement, one should have a will to resolve it. This will always add value and openness to any environment and will  help remove negative energy from the respective group.

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