For the last 15 years, I have been developing and simplifying the basic precautions & protections that team members need to resolve all minor & significant disputes satisfactorily. Using a self-organizing system means it is essential middle managers put themselves out of a job, as some 25% of all unresolved disputes involve managers with their direct reports. This conflict of interest on their part has probably gone a long way to stifling progress in this area.
When it comes to Psychological Safety, everyone seems to be describing what the workplace would look like if we had it and schooling us on how we all should behave to achieve it. I don’t seem to be hearing the simple, practical precautions and protections activated to achieve Psychological Safety.
The workplace consists of people, and people will disagree at times. Unresolved disputes will occasionally arise from these disagreements, as we tend to play the man and not the ball. If these internal disputes go unresolved, they will fester and create an unsafe environment for the team. Especially as these disputes mount, we get what many people refer to as a “toxic workplace.” How we resolve these disputes, I believe, will be crucial to having a safe, fair, and enjoyable workplace.
Using HR, management, or mediation to resolve these disputes will not cut it when they are just minor infringements. That would be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and explains why minor disputes usually go unreported and unresolved.
I believe unresolved disputes are the number one reason business and personal relationships are failing (death by a thousand cuts) and I think I have the solution.