One of the most significant challenges that people face in their work is managing conflict, which is not surprising considering that many people say they avoid conflict at all costs. This equates into a significant percentage of our workforce having never learned how to deal with conflict. Yikes!
A major portion of the training that The Mandt System offers centers around teaching conflict resolution steps (SODAS in Mandt language). These conflict resolution techniques require that we affirm our emotions and then choose our behavior so that we may first identify the Situation that is causing the conflict; then we decide on some Options to resolve the situation; we then weigh out the Disadvantages and Advantages (starting first with the advantages) of each option; and, finally settle on a Solution that ideally provides a win-win solution to this conflict.
Conflict resolution training is very valuable to employers because today’s teams are made up of a wide variety of people with different backgrounds, values that are varied, and attitudes that run a complex range. All of these differences can lead to conflict which may ultimately become a safety issue (and remember, Mandt acknowledges that safety involves physical, emotional and psychological safety) for staff as well as people served.
Teaching conflict resolution steps and encouraging teams to work through conflict resolution techniques will ultimately lead to a team with better communication amongst its team members, which is definitely a benefit for all involved. When team members are honest on a consistent basis and they habitually treat other members of the team with dignity and respect, that contributes to a sense of trust among the team. When people trust each other it is significantly easier to have these difficult conversations with one another. When people trust one another, it is much more likely that they will be actively engaged in the process to resolve conflict. When we appreciate the value that each member of our team brings to the table, it is much easier to appreciate their unique approaches and perspectives about the differences that separate us. When conflict resolution techniques work, it can lead to remarkable changes in our team’s relationships, which ultimately will have a positive and dynamic effect on the services we are able to provide.
Has your organization had success in utilizing conflict resolution steps (SODAS)? We’d love to hear from you about your experience. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (800) 810-0755.
Nikki Wince – MIA Faculty Supervisor