Conflict Management - Framework and Tools

Author: Vanita (bubli.eth)

Reviewer: Mary Q (radioflyerMQ), Joe Mekenzie (pepperonijoe), Edwardo (iluscavia), Mitzy (0xMitz), Zareef (zareefz)

Topic: Conflict Management Framework and Tools

The goal of this post is to outline and discuss the conflict resolution framework and tools which Human Capital and Culture POD would like to propose.

Index Coop is a community-driven organisation with contributors taking up tasks and responsibilities for the growth and sustainability of the organisation. Community is made up of individuals from different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, with the added challenge of communicating only through technology. Creating an autonomous, cohesive culture and ecosystem becomes important.

A conflict management framework is a process which allows contributors to raise their problems, challenges, issues, concerns and seek coaching, guidance or grievance redressal. Our values advocate respect, empathy and transparency. We will make utmost efforts to ensure we live our values in resolving conflicts. When communication is one-way, unclear or misunderstood, conflict can arise. Difference of opinion and perspective are welcome, but conflict can be either useful or dividing depending on how it is managed.

What is conflict?

Disagreement, squabble, argument, difference of opinion, disrespect, dispute.

Any setup where human capital and intellect are the assets and driving force will have conflicts. This can have a positive impact on an organisation or create a negative and draining culture. No mechanism can eradicate or make an organisation conflict free, but creating a mechanism allowing contributors to voice their concern and seek redressal will go a long way in building and improving trust and transparency.

As the Index Coop community has grown, there has also been steady growth in conflicts between members that hamper the performance of the individuals and wider goals of the Index Coop. Some key conflicts which require redressal to ensure they do not build up for long creating a negative and draining culture:

  • Relationship based Conflict: Issues arising from differences in personality, style, matters of taste, and even conflict styles
  • Task based Conflict: Issues related to contributors’ assignments - this may result from having differences of opinion on procedures and policies, managing expectations at work, and judgments and interpretation of facts
  • Remuneration/ Reward Conflict: Issues arising from discontentment with extent of compensation received or extended.

Design Principles

In developing the framework, we believe the following principles can act as a ‘north star’ to achieve desired objectives:

  • Build strong communication within the Coop
  • Welcome and respect diverse perspectives
  • Promote constructive disagreement
  • Offer security
  • Promote empathy and fairness
  • Reduce resolution complexity
  • Adaptable

Framework

We will facilitate appropriate conflict management within the Index Coop through 3 key initiatives:

  1. Upskilling: Providing opportunities to build communication, management, influencing, and leadership skills
  2. Guidelines: Set of actionable communication and behavioural guidelines that can be exercised by all parties to facilitate conflict management
  3. Process: A clear set of activities, roles and responsibilities that can allow conflicts to be flagged by any member and reach appropriate resolution

Tools available to the community to address problems, issues, challenges, concerns:

  1. Write to us at [email protected] and a member from the team will reach out to you. You are encouraged to write to us where you need support, guidance, coaching or grievance redressal and we will address it with respect, empathy and transparency.
  2. Conducting a first level workshop on “Crucial Conversations” for the community. We believe that there will be many tools available and built but making our community members self reliant in holding and handling difficult and crucial conversations will help us build a cohesive culture. There will be many more workshops conducted as per community needs, interest and requirements for self reliance.
  3. Team of coaches will be available to the community. The role of the coaches will be to guide, counsel, help find answers to your problem, challenge, issue or concern through the process developed in the framework and beyond.
  4. We will take support from external experts if need arise to ensure our community is supported
  5. Bi-monthly we will make the team of coaches available to the community members for 4 hours at a stretch so that you can reach out to us and have a casual chat of your experience and suggestions with Index Coop, talk to us about any problem, concerns, issues, challenges that you seek redressal, guidance or support.
  6. We will activate yellow tags in the governance portal of Index Coop. If any member feels the discussion is not matching the values of Index Coop can raise the yellow flag and an email notification will be sent to the conflict management team to discuss with affected members and help resolve the issue. We always support healthy discussion, debate, questioning and arguments but within the values of respect, empathy and transparency.

Process:

Members of the Conflict Management team: Mary Q, Vanita, Zareef

Action Items: Please note all the tools will be activated by February 1, 2022

  1. Email id [email protected]

  2. Yellow Tags on governance portal

  3. Team of internal coaches

  4. AMA will be scheduled for February 3, 2022 at 9.00pm ET for the community to understand and ask questions on the Conflict Management Framework

  5. Training workshop on “Crucial Conversation”. 1) Index Council and Nest Leads on 8th February 2022 at 9.00pm ET 2) Community at large on February 15, 2022 at 9.00pm ET

Human Capital and Culture POD is happy to get your feedback and suggestions on the process and tools.

Cheers!!

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