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Does your culture contribute to discord and divisiveness?

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

Some managers experience little conflict among their staff. Others call us constantly with tales of woe.

If you’re dealing with ongoing disputes, personal grudges and all-around ill will engulfing your unit, the culprit may be your organizational culture. Expecting people to get along when they operate in a take-no-prisoners environment is unrealistic.

Diagnose your culture to ensure you’re not falling into these traps:

Misplaced incentives. A surefire way to fuel conflict is to create a scarcity mentality with regards to rewarding performance. You want everyone to push to excel and bask in shared glory—not fight it out for a limited amount of lucre.

Silo versus silo. In some organizations, employees are more concerned about protecting their fiefdom than producing results that advance larger goals. They may venture outside their silo guardedly and treat outsiders—even some colleagues-—with suspicion.

Warlike antics. If you and your senior executive team speak in aggressive tones about trouncing the competition and crushing them like bugs, you risk having a bunch of overzealous warriors on your hands. They may engage in screaming matches and prance around like superstar athletes.

In an accept-no-weakness environment, vulnerability may be seen as a sign of frailty. Employees wind up enmeshed in conflict to prove they’re tough as nails. The problem is that no one tries to bring people together and foster a workable peace.

Runaway change. Stability paves the way for conflict resolution. If you have high turnover, a revolving door of senior executives or an organization beset by constant abrupt changes in direction, insecurity can take hold.

 

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