conflict

When uncertainty leads to conflict

Why do we find ourselves in conflict, instead of in disagreement? One of reasons is the anxiety we feel when faced with uncertainty. Do we know the facts? Do we know the cause and effect relationships between them? How sure can we be that our actions will have the intended consequences?

I’m delighted to be able to bring you the latest words of wisdom on managing uncertainty, from Andrew Acland, facilitator and mediator extraordinaire and author of “A sudden outbreak of common sense: Managing conflict through mediation”.

Andrew says:

“Uncertainty is a feature of many of the situations in which mediators and facilitators are asked to work for several reasons. First, our work tends to be in fairly complex situations, and often uncertainty is one source of that complexity. Secondly, any situation that involves human beings involves uncertainty: we are a tricky species. Thirdly, uncertainty creates conflict – which is why we get called for in the first place.

The purpose of this note is to suggest what we can do with uncertainty when it rears its awkward head in the middle of an already difficult meeting.”

Click here to read Andrew’s full paper.