[Opinion] Sometimes Accommodation Works in the Workplace

In the workplace, accommodating bad behavior, poor decision making, and the outcomes of both of those processes leads directly to accusations by others of organizational apathy and confusion.

When we talk about competence though (or write about it) the general idea seeps through the page that somehow being conflict competent requires abandoning accommodation as a strategy. But it makes sense as a strategy when:

  • The organization is so entrenched in whatever conflict choices they are making that the only way to resolve them all is to tear the organization down and start over again
  • The individual who is engaged in accommodating conflict choices has little to no positional authority and views their own power stance poorly in relation to the organization’s power stance
  • The groups or teams that function inside the organization actually run more fluidly with accommodation as a method of choosing how to address conflicts, because the people who are at the top of the organizational chart have role modeled accommodating as a perfectly valid choice.

If these all sound like terrible conflict modes, you would be correct. But most competency models focus on overcoming accommodation to match the dominant communication style that many organizations mythologize in the United States. Which is one of direct confrontation and attack.

In order to create a new kind of competency model, we have to acknowledge that competency at accommodation is not only a valid choice, but also one that creates space for outcomes to occur that may be suboptimal inside an organizational structure.

As a matter of fact, it would look like this:

[Opinion] Sometimes Accommodation Works in the Workplace

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

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