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Organizational Conflict Management Check Up

by John Ford
November 2003 John Ford
Are you concerned about the health of your organizations conflict management system?

This diagnostic questionnaire is easy to complete in less than 10 minutes and provides valuable insight into how your organization is dealing with conflict.

Record your responses below. Of particular importance are the yes/no questions that are used to generate a graphic representation of your organizations conflict management health.

After you have answered the yes/no questions, total your score for each of the six criteria. Transfer that score to the scoring legend. You can then plot the values on the grahpic that is provided.

The background questions can be used to modify the scores generated in the yes/no section.

Background Questions

Your Name: _____________________________________________

Organizations Name: _____________________________________________

Number of Employees: _____________________________________________

Union Status: _____________________________________________

Check which Conflict Resolution Procedures are available?

Arbitration _____

Coaching _____

Investigation _____

Internal Mediation _____

External Mediation _____

Peer Review _____

Grievance Procedure _____

Check which Polices have been documented?

Employee Handbook _____

Sexual Harassment Policy_____

General Anti-Discrimination Policy _____

ADR Program _____

Disciplinary Code and Procedure _____

Workplace Violence _____

Performance Review Policy _____

Check what Conflict Management measures are used?

Absenteeism _____

Turnover _____

Grievances Filed _____

Time Spent on Conflict _____

Cases Litigated _____

Legal Costs _____

Check which Conflict Management Resource Persons are on Staff?

Human Resources Manager _____

Training Manager _____

Ombuds _____

EEO Officer _____

EAP Facilitator _____

Mediator _____

Facilitator _____

Check which trainings your organization has offered in the last 3 years?

Communication _____

Listening _____

Conflict Resolution _____

Dealing with Difficult People _____

Dealing with Anger _____

Customer Service _____

Diversity _____

Negotiation _____

Managerial Mediation _____

Facilitation Skills _____

CULTURE

The way things are done around here. The attitudes, beliefs, norms, practices, and values of the organization

1. Is conflict valued? Yes/No

2. Is dissent encouraged? Yes/No

3. Is conflict seen as an opportunity for change? Yes/No

4. Are relationships important? Yes/No

5. Is feedback welcome? Yes/No

6. Is conflict surfaced? Yes/No

EXPECTATIONS

The Vision, Mission and Values of the organization

The roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.

1. Does your organization have a vision, mission and values statement that specifically deals with conflict management? Yes/No

2. Is the general vision, mission and values in alignment with the approach to conflict management? Yes/No

3. Are conflict management roles and responsibilities defined in job descriptions? Yes/No

4. Is desirable conflict management behavior described? Yes/No

5. Is there consensus on the conflict management vision, mission and values statement? Yes/No

6. Are the conflict management values known and shared? Yes/No

SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

People in organizations need to be able to deal with conflict themselves. They also need to know how to access the system, to understand the options available to them.

Core competencies: Communication, negotiation, decision-making, mediation, problem-solving, teamwork.

1. Is conflict management a core competency in the organization? Yes/No

2. Do people know what procedures are available? Yes/No

3. Do people know how to use the procedures? Yes/No

4. Are people skilled at listening to each other, probing for interests and exploring creative options? Yes/No

5. Are people skilled at using interest-based options such as mediation? Yes/No

6. Are people skilled at using rights based options such as investigations and arbitration? Yes/No

SUPPORT STRUCTURES

Access points, resource persons, resources

1. Are people available to provide help to disputants e.g. to give advice, represent them, serve as mediators? Yes/No

2. Does your organization have the resources (time, money, people) to deal with conflict? Yes/No

3. Does your organization have a senior management champion? Yes/No

4. Do people have someone to talk to in confidence? Yes/No

5. Does your organization have an conflict management oversight team in place? Yes/No

6. Does your organization have an evaluation program in place? Yes/No

REWARDS AND CONSEQUENCES

Consequences, rewards, incentives, recognition.

Performance Review.

1. Can disputant air their grievances fully in their own terms without consequences? Yes/No

2. Do disputants participate in decision-making and shaping dispute resolution outcomes? Yes/No

3. Do people get feedback and information they need when they need it? Yes/No

4. Does the organization reward a collaborative approach? Yes/No

5. Do performance reviews consider conflict management and resolution skills? Yes/No

6. Are their consequences for conflict avoidance? Yes/No

PROCEDURES AND OPTIONS

The written and unwritten rules that determine how conflict is processed. Interest and rights based options. All problems are addressed.

1. Do procedures exist and are they followed consistently? Yes/No

2. Are procedures available to handle the full range of disputes that occur? Yes/No

3. Are interest-based options (e.g. Mediation) are available? Yes/No

4. Are rights-based options (e.g. Investigation, Arbitration) are available? Yes/No

5. Are processes well designed? Yes/No

6. Do people get feedback and information when they need it? Yes/No

Organizational Conflict Management Diagnosis

Scoring Legend

After you have answered the yes/no questions, total your score for each of the six criteria. Transfer that score to the scoring legend. You can then plot the values on the grahpic that is provided.

The background questions can be used to modify the scores generated in the yes/no section.

Culture:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Unhealthy

Healthy

Expectations:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Confused

Clear

Skills & Knowledge:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Incompetent

Competent

Support Structures:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Blocking

Supportive

Rewards & Consequences:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Unmotivated

Motivated

Procedures & Options:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Inappropriate

Appropriate

CopyRight: John Ford, 2002.

Biography


 

John Ford is the author of Peace at Work and founder of the HR Mediation Academy. He mediates; trains; and consults to organizations that have accepted the inevitability of conflict and are seeking to approach it with greater clarity and confidence. He was the managing editor of Mediate.com from 2000 to 2011, and is a past president of the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California. 



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Website: www.johnford.com

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