Avoiding Major Conflict with SpatzAI: The Code of Conduct for Minor Misbehavior


Minor quarrels are inevitable. Disagreeing is not the issue. How we behave when we disagree is, in my view.

A spat can usually arise when two parties are slightly dogmatic and trying to convert the other. Rarely will two opposing views exist side by side for very long. At this point, the opponents must decide how to proceed. They ask themselves, “is this the hill I’m willing to die on?” or “will I fight and run away and live to fight another day?”. How they answer these two questions will determine the outcome of their spat.

If they both choose the first option, their spat will inevitably escalate. If one chooses the aggressive option and the other chooses the submissive one, their spat will deescalate. Or they both could determine the submissive stance, and a conflict is avoided but not resolved.

There is another approach that is rarely mentioned or considered. Instead of being on the aggressive or submissive side, one could be in the objective middle. “How does one find the objective middle,” you may ask. I asked this question about four years ago and came up with my answer “by objecting, of course,” as a bit of a joke for the reply. But as it’s turned out, I think I was onto something.

Imagine if both team members agreed beforehand that if either detected signs of being overly dogmatic in their delivery of an idea (descending brow, raised volume and tone, absolute language, and irritable etc), one could pause the discussion to object to their behavior. The dogmatic offender could either acknowledge or reject this objection.

With a slight modification to the objection agreement then sees it split into three steps or phases, i.e.
And with a different level of accountability for each, we can start to get some exciting rules of engagement that could become a simple code of conduct for addressing minor misbehavior.
Then, what if we added a peer review network in the 3rd phase to get more objective views and reviews from our peers in our industry? Finally, using an app to document our spat, dispute and conflict and to automatically post our conflict onto the network.

0. Spatz Verbal Caution or
1. Spatz App Caution = Spat = Acknowledgement or
2. Spatz App Objection = Dispute = Simple apology or
3. Spatz App Stop = Conflict = Acceptable apology + Post on Network
4. Spatz Peer Reviews and AI Recommendations made

Automatically collating the data from steps 1, 2, & 3 and their responses into a database, parsed, and used by an AI for machine learning would add yet another level of objectivity and predictability to our team’s spats, disputes, and conflicts.

I plan to do this with SpatzAI.com, our AI intervention toolkit for micro-conflicts (spats) and hope to implement it soon when I can find a champion or patron who can see what I can see and its global implications when applied.

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