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All conflict has a sense of powerlessness at its core. 

Our approach is based on the premise that conflict is always present, albeit in a range of different guises from latency (denial) through to open disputes (war). 

Level 1 – Denial. The starting point for any conflict emanates from our personal antagonism to another party which in turn leads to reduced communication and a failure to take personal responsibility for the situation that exists.  What is felt but unsaid will not go away.  

Level 2 – Defensiveness.  This is the most common form of conflict in an organisation and is characterised by a culture of blame and criticism, often accompanied by a breakdown in communication and trust.  It arises from a fear of being taken advantage of or from being punished for making a mistake.

Level 3 – Sniping.  This is a rapidly escalating form of conflict where surreptitious comments and actions are specifically designed to cause the most damage and harm to another person.  This will invariably lead to increased levels of both individual and organisational stress.

Level 4 – War.  This is the very visible sign of conflict in the work place. This is where the party's positions have become polarised and there is no attempt to understand the other’s point of view.  From here there will be a winner and a loser, but ultimately all parties will lose from this position.

In all conflict the behaviour of those directly involved can either contaminate the situation or contribute to a resolution.

Using the model of Intelligent Influence, we can support organisations and individuals at every stage of this Conflict Continuum, helping them to address conflict more intelligently and constructively, through both preventative and remedial measures.

 

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(c) 2004 Terry Malloy - all rights reserved.