Conflict happens in
even the best of regulated messes and GWTA
is no different than any other organization
when it comes to experiencing conflict.
Conflicts arise from misunderstandings,
misconceptions and lack of communication
One of the biggest
areas of conflict happens when there are
strong personalities and they lose focus and
become emotional rather than logical about
the issues. We arenít going to like
everybody as a best friend and even though
it may be hard to believe, there are people
who feel that way about us too. Not wanting
to have someone as your best friend doesnít
mean you canít accomplish things together.
The best way to avoid
conflict is to TALK AND LISTEN!
Acknowledge there is a
potential for conflict and express concern.
Talk to the people involved
and state your position. Do this in a
Listen to what they have to
say when they state their position.
Assess the conversation Ė
really think about it.
Make a written record of the
Make a decision based on
whatís best overall, not your personal
Tell your decision to the
people involved in the conflict and ensure
they understand why you are making that
decision. It is best to follow up with a
written copy of your decision so thereís no
misunderstanding at a later date.
Ask for their assistance in
implementing the decision; perhaps they will
be willing to head a committee for you.
Give praise and thanks for
their input and cooperation.
Conflict also comes
when we are tasked with evaluating a
personís performance or removing someone
from a voluntary position. This is a very
sensitive area and it is important that good
records are kept. It is recommended that
the party being evaluated receive the
evaluation in writing, as sometimes what we
say isnít what the other person hears.
State clearly what evaluation
youíve made and why.
State what changes you expect
the person to accomplish.
Give a deadline for
accomplishment and what the consequences
will be for not accomplishing the change.
Follow up to see what action
has taken place since the initial
evaluation. Allow a reasonable length of
time before you follow up as some things
canít be accomplished overnight.
No action? Restate what you
expect or request specific action be
If after a reasonable time
there is still no change and you feel that
none is forthcoming, it is time to take the
final steps and remove the person.
Provide the person with a
written request to vacate the position along
with instructions on how and when you expect
it to be handled.
Advise the appropriate parties
that you have a position available. When
questioned by your peers on what happened
donít elaborate -- keep it confidential and
respectful to the person leaving the
Accept that in this type of
situation you cannot please everyone.