Conflict & Dispute Resolution
Address conflicts & disputes before they impact your business
The failure to recognize and effectively address contentious issues and dysfunctional patterns of communication and behaviour between senior people can affect the smooth functioning of a business and in a worst case, can lead to the creation of organizational silos. As all CEOs and presidents know, this can erode results and have significant longer term negative effects.
Conflicts and disputes at senior levels occur for a variety of reasons. It might be a deep difference of opinion regarding the purpose of a particular initiative, the way it’s being resourced, or what ultimate success or completion will look like. Recently, we were asked to help two senior executives – both with equity in the company – to deal with an interpersonal issue which related to day-to-day operations of the business.
Resolving conflicts between the new and the established
One senior executive had been with the company for many years when the other executive joined the organization. In the beginning, they had an excellent personal relationship; they agreed completely on what they wanted the firm to be and what results would spell success. However over time, the newer person grew to feel that he was being undermined by the other executive.
It seems that in her haste to accomplish objectives, the tenured executive, who had relationships with key people in every area of the company, would regularly cut across lines of communication. As a result, the other executive felt she was “going behind his back”. When I was asked by the president to get involved, the situation was becoming so bad, the newer person was thinking of leaving. I worked with them both – together and individually – and as a result, they were able to deal with the issues and move the company forward.
Resolving conflicts at the top of your organization
Or sometimes, the conflict or dispute can be an aspect of the personal relationship between two or more senior executives. Recently, we were asked to work with the two founders of a business that had grown to be very successful. In the view of one of the partners, the demands of the business had grown well beyond the capability of the other founder. The more capable partner felt that the other partner was not making an equal contribution to the success of the business - he felt he was carrying the business. The other partner felt that his partner – and once close friend – was never happy with him. As a result of their inability to deal directly with the situation, the partners avoided each other; and, as a result, the people reporting to each of them were not communicating with their colleagues. I was asked to help the founders deal with their growing frustration with each other. Over a course of meetings with them, individually and together, I was able to help them arrive at a course of action that dealt with the situation and helped them move forward.
Meeting the challenge of resolving family conflicts in business
Another fairly common area of organizational dispute and conflict, involves spouses and siblings - or members of the same family - who are also business partners. I have often seen serious issues arise as partners and family members attempt to deal with the inevitable stresses that occur when trying to balance business and personal lives. I feel very comfortable working with and helping people who find themselves in these types of situations.
Learn more about how Peter can help with conflicst & disputes
I am frequently been called upon to help senior business leaders deal more effectively with disputes and conflicts. If you’ve got a relationship with another person in your business and you feel it’s negatively impacting the business, or if there’s a situation involving employees that you’re troubled by and that you feel may be affecting results, please give me a call. There is no charge for an initial consultation.