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Conflict Sensitive Leaders

Conflict can be a situation or behavior that can happen anytime varying the circumstances. However, it depends on how it is managed and settled. It always needs leadership approaches to manage it properly. One of the most important approaches required to manage is the conflict sensitivity. Conflict sensitivity enables an explicit, systematic and informed approach […]

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Conflict can be a situation or behavior that can happen anytime varying the circumstances. However, it depends on how it is managed and settled. It always needs leadership approaches to manage it properly. One of the most important approaches required to manage is the conflict sensitivity.

Conflict sensitivity enables an explicit, systematic and informed approach to identifying and navigating dilemmas and as well support informed judgment and decisions.

The purpose of a conflict sensitivity is to increase the probability that our action (what, who, how, when) has a ‘best-fit’ with the particular drivers of the ‘conflict’, so that it is likely to make a positive contribution.

For that purpose, a leader should put thorough assessment for drivers of conflict and contributors of conflict. Assessment needs to include actor and stakeholders in the different dynamics of conflict, and cannot be subjected to ‘taboos’ or ‘spin’ so as to respect sensitivities or that of other likely users of the assessment.

Conflict has two sides, mainly the divider and the connector, however both relies on issues and behaviors. There might be a time where an issue raises then the behavior boosts the conflict to divide. On the other hand, issue raises but the behavior may entrust to connect back the division. All a leader has to do is answering the questions of what creates connections, what creates divisions and take the step to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive.

What can a leader do?

For instance, the actions required to evade conflicts shall include,

  1. First minimize harm
  2. Contribute to the stability
  3. Deliberately and directly address drivers of conflict

However, for deliberately and directly addressing the drivers of conflict, a leader needs to do proper assessment and to dig into the below steps;

Identify

Identify the extent of harmfulness of the situation or activity. See what kind of good or bad alternatives could be involved. Is there any legal implication or so?

Find the facts

Explore the facts to the extent possible. Finding and exploring properly the facts is a feeder for getting into the depth of the situation and to make justified decisions. Fact finding approach should cover the parties engaged in the process, the actors and stakeholders.

Make a Decision

Considering the facts explored, a justified decision can be made.  

Implement and reflect

When the decision is made, it should be properly implemented and as well reflected to give an outlook of how things happened. The lessons learnt could be of future use for others.

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