For the last 15 years, I have been pursuing a solution to minor disputes within startup teams (namely our own) between my brother and me. I hated it when he responded with “erk!” when I came up with a novel proposal for a problem that we were trying to solve. As a designer, we were trained to sketch with our minds, churning out as many solutions as possible and seeing which ones stuck. It took me this long to find this solution, but I think you will like it.
I have come up with “Psychological Safety meets Micro Conflict Resolution.” Through this process, everyone is protected from everyone regardless of position in the organization. When two people disagree, and one tries to browbeat the other by even raising their tone or volume in the slightest, the other can activate the protocol that protects them from such minor misbehavior. I Call it our “Shield of Protection.”
It is a simple 3 step procedure, and if still unresolved after the third attempt, the dispute is posted onto the dispute network to be reviewed by our independent peers. Since my brother and I have agreed to use this process, we seem to be well behaved during our most difficult conversations and no more “erks!”.
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