Conflict is an inevitable aspect of human interaction, and it becomes even more complex when it occurs in a group setting. While diverse perspectives can lead to more effective decision-making processes, they can also spur contentious discussions that might lead to conflicts. Managing conflicts in a group is crucial to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals in a harmonious environment. Effective dialogue amongst group members can play an essential role in conflict resolution, and this blog post will explore some techniques to facilitate such dialogue.
The role of dialogue, evidence, and shared experience is crucial in a #multistakeholder context. In an article published in Harvard Business Review, Behfar et al. (2008) argue that a shared understanding of the situation at hand is necessary to tackle disputes effectively. An open dialogue based on shared experience and evidence can also encourage participants to reach a common understanding. This understanding can then be used to create a more collaborative environment, where differences of opinion are valued and appreciated.
One effective technique to facilitate group dialogue is the #interactive problem-solving model. In this model, a moderator creates an atmosphere of trust and constructive discussion among group members. Participants can develop a shared vision of the situation and work together to identify specific goals and a plan of action. This model, as discussed by Driscoll et al. (1996), can also lead to creative solutions and generate a sense of ownership among group members.
Facilitating dialogue between different communal identity-based groups can also be beneficial. In a study by Smidt et al. (2019), it was reported that such dialogue can promote understanding and reduce tension between identity groups. The authors also suggest that proactive and pluralistic conflict resolution strategies should be used to avoid misunderstandings that often arise from group identity.
Another technique that has gained popularity in recent years is conflictual dialogue. According to Muñoz-Reyes et al. (2020), this technique encourages individuals to reveal their emotions and experiences. It allows individuals to fully understand and empathize with others' perspectives, even if they don't necessarily agree with them. This form of dialogue can lead to a more holistic understanding of conflicts and promote a respectful atmosphere among group members.
In conclusion, group dialogue is a critical tool for effective conflict resolution. Organizational psychologists and experts have used various models, techniques, and strategies to facilitate dialogue and promote understanding among group members. The importance of such interactions cannot be overstated, as it leads to productive and harmonious group settings. While managing conflicts in a group setting can be challenging, using evidence-based and effective techniques can help achieve a shared understanding among participants. As such, HR managers, CEOs, and COOs should familiarize themselves with these techniques and look to incorporate them in their respective organizations.