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Bridging the Gulf
Conflict Resolution for Business Leaders

In every human relationship, conflicts arise because people are fundamentally different. These differences take many forms: personality, values, mindset, lifestyle, gender, and generation are some of the many that can lead to friction and misunderstanding between well-meaning individuals.

In most cases, an incident in which a big difference manifests is the starting point for an ever-widening gap between people. Negative interpretations of the initial incident becomes the context for subsequent experiences, each of which reinforces the initial interpretation and strengthens the conviction that the relationship is not viable.

If the initial rift is not addressed and reconciled, it can quickly become a gulf which ends up being experienced by each of the protagonists as unbridgeable. Perceptions harden and each person’s reality becomes increasingly divorced from that of the other.

When these conflicts arise between people in positions of power in an organization, the effects usually have a ripple effect. Followers of each of the misaligned leaders find themselves constantly having to demonstrate their loyalty to their sponsors, mindful not to violate the party line. This “whose side are you on “ phenomenon creates significant organizational anxiety and ineffectiveness for one simple reason: consideration of the merits of alternatives becomes subordinated to political considerations and factional dispute.

Idea Champions offers its clients a powerful process for addressing high-level conflicts – one that alleviates many of the issues stemming from differences at the top. This process allows protagonists to develop a deep understanding of the roots of their differences and to find ways of working together that is grounded in increased mutual respect and understanding. The process we offer provides an effective way for each protagonist to be heard, valued, and reach a sustainable agreement on how they will work together in the future.

Our Bridging the Gulf process usually requires a commitment of two days and a willingness by each of the contentious parties to attempt to improve their working relationship.

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