[Advice] Conflict-Resolution-as-a-Service 2: KPIs

Understanding where people’s conflict responses are in their quadrants and where they position conflict messages in their brains, are critically important to consider. Particularly as you develop key performance indicators as you start resolving conflicts in your organization, differently than you have been before.

If a person prefers an avoidance stance toward conflicts in my professional life, then a person with a more collaborative stance (in the quadrant opposite) will have some problems with the avoider.

If a person prefers to be in control and compete around conflict (as many in the aggressive world of work sometimes do) then the accommodator in the opposite quadrant might have some problems.

The marketing theory of positioning (as expounded by Trout and Reis) says that there is limited “shelf space” in a person’s mind for messages. It further states that, once a message has been anchored onto a shelf, it’s not going to be dislodged by a new message in the same space. Instead, the jujitsu lies in creating a new message in the quadrant opposite the established message.

In relation to conflict management, a key performance indicator of whether or not your conflict training efforts have “worked” or not is: are people communicating messages to each other in the heat of conflict in a different way that reveals messaging anchored in a different position in their minds.

This is a KPI that is so subtle, so hard to actually see, that many managers, supervisors, owners, and others, who aren’t necessarily dialed into to language, emotional depth, and other conflict driving factors, will miss it. However, outside of people communicating with each other with courage (which comes with coaching, not necessarily training) people communicating differently, using different words, phrases, and even body positions, and getting different outcomes, it’s the only metric that matters.

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