Archive for January, 2011
Posted on January 27th, 2011 by admin Comments Off
When you think of the term â€œdispute resolution,â€ what comes to mind?
Many of us would assume that a lawyer is needed to resolve a dispute that the parties can’t resolve on their own.Â Yet we also know that it can be a very expensive process and one not guaranteed to get us what we want.
Weâ€™re predisposed in this country to consult an attorney when a dispute arises, perhaps because of the history and tradition of the profession. A lawyer will represent a client on one side of the dispute and engage the other side in an adversarial process that results in success for only one of the disputants, if that.
Many people, if not most, are inclined to avoid issues that involve strong emotions, and that includes conflict situations. When that aversion is coupled with a reluctance to incur the expense of a lawyer, many people are at a loss for a way to move forward.
Mediation is an answer to that quandary, offering another option for resolving disputes.Â A mediator acts as a neutral third party working for a fair and equitable solution to the dispute itself, not as an advocate for one party or the other. A mediator/facilitator is one who asks and answers questions, sometimes acts as a referee, and helps the parties to work through their issues to achieve a win-win agreement.
The job of the mediator is not to achieve a â€œwinâ€ for one side or the other but to help the parties find solutions that each finds acceptable. To do this, an effective mediator will:
Create a safe environment. Everyone involved in the mediation needs to feel able to speak without fear of judgment or recrimination.
Help all the parties find their voice. In any dispute, there is often one party that dominates the discussion, shutting out other voices. The mediator/facilitator will restore balance to the discussion by laying the ground rules for respectful and constructive conversation.
Encourage the parties to engage each other from the perspective of â€œinterestâ€ rather than â€œposition.â€ It is one thing to say, â€œItâ€™s my position that youâ€™re only entitled to 1/3 of the family businessâ€ and quite another to say, â€œIt is my interest to receive my fair share of the business.â€ The “position” can be rigid and focused on winning. The “interest” is more open to discussion and alternative ways to achieve an outcome that is fair and equitable for both parties.
Hold the belief that engaging conflict constructively leads to superior problem-solving. Effective mediation doesnâ€™t reach a solution that avoids conflictâ€”it finds a way to use the conflict constructively to stimulate discussion and new ideas.
If you are experiencing a conflict that needs resolution and you donâ€™t want an adversarial, expensive process, try mediation. Drop me an e-mail or give us a call at The Reid Group, 206-432-3565.Â Weâ€™ll schedule a session for you to explain the process and answer your questions.
Posted on January 13th, 2011 by admin Comments Off
The past two years have challenged many of us to pay attention in new ways to what matters most for our organizations.Â For many, the challenges are more difficult to clearly identify and thus require new learning and ways of doing things.Â And the challenges call us to new kinds of leadership.
The contributions of Ron Heifetz and his colleagues in the area of adaptive leadership offer leaders and organizations a practical and applied approach to leadership for improbable times.Â At its core, adaptive leadership is about paying attention to and creating what matters most.Â Sounds simple enough.Â However, paying attention to what matters most isnâ€™t as easy as it sounds.Â In fact, it is a bold and radical leadership act because it most often challenges conventional assumptions about leadership.Â Moreover, it is sure to expose vulnerabilities in the system and in those leading and influencing the system.
Adaptive leadership holds the development and exercise of leadership as an art and practice.Â It is a systems view of leadership concerned with developing cultures of leadership within organizations.Â Adaptive leadership is grounded in the belief that exercising the leadership required to change (and thrive) means guiding people and organizations through adaptive challenges â€“ the ones that question long held beliefs and that demand new ways of doing things.Â Widespread leadership capacity, not authority, is often the key to whether or not an organization can close the gap between where it is and where it aspires to be.
Many assert that leadership is fundamentally about achieving results.Â Yet the dynamic and unpredictable landscape facing organizations today suggests that achieving results, particularly on a mere quarter-to-quarter basis, is no longer enough.Â Today, growing the capacity to thrive in any economic environment is the real work of leadership.Â Those who can see and respond to adaptive challenges will be the organizations (and countries) that thrive in the future.
Adaptive Leadership operates on three core beliefs:
â€¢Â Leadership can be learned.Â It is about understanding, behaviors and actions.Â It is not an inherent set of traits such as charisma.
â€¢Â The adaptability of organizations depends on having widespread leadership that can come from anywhere within an organization, not just from those in top positions of authority.
â€¢Â Because adaptive change generates resistance, exercising leadership can be both difficult and dangerous.
The focus of adaptive leadership is on:
â€¢Â building ongoing capacity for change
â€¢Â developing a shared understanding of what exercising leadership entails, which beliefs and behaviors are essential and which must change or be jettisoned
â€¢Â support for smart risk-taking to build the capacity to adapt and create the desired future (choice v. circumstance)
â€¢Â recognizing what the organization and its people must give up in order to move forward
Enhancing an organizationâ€™s collective capacity to pay attention to and create what matters most is work of adaptive leadership.Â Adaptive leadership offers an approach to leadership that can embrace the complexity of systemic, adaptive work and enhance the practice of creating new realities.Â It is an offer worth considering, especially when one may be leading with no more than a question in hand.
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