Conflict Resolution: What Are Your Values?  

So long as you have a team, a group, an organization with at least two to three people, at some point you will have conflict. Will this conflict rise to the level of requiring mediation by an outside party? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. The degree with which conflict matters is to a large extent based on its effect on the individual, system and suprasystems.

When it comes to organizational dynamics, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “the study of how people in a large company or organization behave and react to each other, and of how the organization can be made to work more effectively,” conflict becomes tantamount to flushing money down the toilet. Of course, the analogy is by degrees, but any degree of conflict in the workplace that is spilling over or has the potential to spill over into work performance should be addressed head-on and in a timely manner.

Approaches to Resolving Conflict 

Many times those who are charged with resolving conflict in the workplace do so by looking at what divides us, more so than the focus being on what unites us. No one approach has all the answers; however, looking for root causes is only one way to go about conflict resolution. Once root causes are found and appropriate action taken around these topics, what’s next for building unity and cohesion? There are many methodologies and activities one can do with their workforce, but none have I found as useful as showing your group, team or workforce their commonalities and examining where people diverge and why. This can be done using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the DiSC Assessment or any number of personality or psychometric instruments*.

Introducing Values as a Means to Quash Conflict 

The one I’ll share with you now, it’s all about our values. The Rokeach Values Scale/Survey was developed by a social psychologist Milton Rokeach. The instrument is designed to rank the order via the scaling of 36 values in total, with 18 being terminal (end-goal) and 18 being instrumental (instruments to reach the terminal). Rokeach found that all the world’s cultures shared these same values; however, they differed in the priority assigned to the value – thus scaling them from most important to least important per individual assessment-taker.

HR Quirk™ has used the Rokeach Value Survey to help individual coaching clients, small groups, and workforces to gain a better understanding of who they are and how they show up.  Teams that were performing well have used the Values Survey to have a look at where they diverge and why to create career pathing and succession planning, among many other facilitated human resource uses. Workforces with lots of tension and conflict have likewise used understanding of individual and groups’ values to create closer work-appropriate bonds and intimacies to achieve team cohesion and to cross silos and connect with other divisions within the organization.

An Example of the Utility of the Rokeach Value Survey

HR Quirk™ uses the Rokeach Value Survey as an organization development tool that provides our workshop participants with a lens through which to view both shared and diverse interests, allowing them to find solutions that work for everyone. Value-based consensus can lead to improved organizational performance that parallels its mission, vision and values.

Understanding the impact of values on participants’ interpersonal workplace relationships is the main objective of using the values scale. Each participant’s core values hold varying degrees of importance that diverge from the importance a team-mate assigns the same values; this is frequently a source of workplace conflict.

Recognizing values as common motivators permits greater insight into conflict resolution and promoting a cohesive workplace culture. When focus changes from individual value positions to increased consensus, team-mates can explore more options to uncover solutions that facilitate organizational goals.

When using the values scale with your workplace teams, our objectives may include:

  • Using the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS), participants will examine the relationship of values and behavior;
  • Participants will identify their individual instrumental and terminal values, highlighting the correlation between their work and their value positions, which can contribute to increased self-motivation and job satisfaction, and enhanced job performance;
  • Participants will be able to explain how value positions help to predict workplace behaviors of themselves and others;
  • Participants will be able to identify behavioral cues of the various individual value positions held in their career arenas;
  • Using this knowledge, participants will be able to anticipate and reduce conflict while fostering a collaborative environment

Call us today for an individual coaching session using the values scale or for your workforce’s conflict resolution and team cohesion needs!

*MBTI and DiSC assessments are also a part of our service offerings.