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How Do You Diagnose Conflict In Your Organization?

Many teams do not have the ability to resolve problems among their members.  How can a group diagnose conflict within their organization?

The first step in resolving a workplace conflict is to determine whether it is of the hot or cool variety. The simple checklist below yields a quick and accurate diagnosis of conflict. Check whether statement A or B better describes the conflict scenario being diagnosed:

1. The conflict seems to center more on:

___A. How people feel about each other (relationships)

___ B. Differing points of view about an issue (opinion or philosophy)

2. The conflict has generated more:

___ A. Emotion (feelings)

___ B. Ideas (facts and information).

3. The conflict centers on:

___ A. Past interactions between people

___ B. Concerns about future policy and precedent

4. The conflict was triggered by:

___ A. What someone did or said

___ B. What someone failed to do (or should have done)

5. The conflict has generated more:

___ A. Argument

___ B. Discussion

6. The conflict is best described as:

___ A. A struggle to dominate

___ B. A struggle to be right

7. Which action will do the most good:

___ A. Let people cool off

___ B. Give people more information

8. Which action will do the most good:

___ A. Someone will probably have to get more power or influence

___ B. More information and analysis will be needed

9. When this conflict is resolved, people will probably feel:

___ A. Either victorious or defeated

___ B. Better informed and aware

10. As the result of the conflict, people will probably:

___ A. Feel victorious or defeated.

___ B. Understand one another better

Total up the number of “A” and “B” responses you checked. The more “A” responses you checked, the hotter the conflict; the more “B” responses, the cooler the conflict.

Phil Van Auken

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