conflict

Positive working relationships

Positive working relationships within an organisation help to get things done effectively. Conflict in whatever form is distructive and detracts from a normal, productive, working environment.  Trustees need to ensure that they are giving leadership by modelling positive working relationships, as well as taking action to improve things when there are difficulties.  This is part of their duty in ensure their organisations are efectively managed.

Conflict

Healthy conflict, in which conflicting viewpoints are debated, can be of significant benefit to an organisation, if it is effectively managed.  However unhealthy conflict can divert energy, demoralise staff and volunteers, and prevent the organisation from fulfilling its mission.

Voluntary organisations are strongly value-based, and may experience intense conflicts about directions and policies.  Others have difficulty due to conflicting roles or personal differences. more..

Code of Conduct

It is useful when a new committee is elected to agree a code of conduct to underpin how committee members should behave towards one another both during and outside of meetings.  It is good to have a framework in place because it helps to safeguard relationships in times of difficulty and it underlines individual's commitment to the work of the organisation.  Use discussions regarding the Code of Conduct's content to reiterate what is expected from committee members. Ensure you agree procedures for dealing with a breach of the Code and establish who will enforce these.

Preventing Damaging Conflict

Healthy conflict, in which conflicting viewpoints are debated, can be of significant benefit to an organisation, if it is effectively managed.  Creating a forum where decisions and approaches are open to challenge and new ideas can be constructively discussed is vital if the management committee/board is to provide effective leadership for the organisation.  It enables the committee to be open and responsive to stakeholders, to adapt to change, to plan effectively for the future, and to regularly review and evaluate its own performance.

Conflict Within Management Committees

Healthy conflict, in which conflicting viewpoints are debated, can be of significant benefit to an organisation, if it is effectively managed.  However unhealthy conflict can divert energy, demoralise staff and volunteers, and prevent the organisation from fulfilling its mission.

Voluntary organisations are strongly value-based, and may experience intense conflicts about directions and policies.  Others have difficulty due to conflicting roles or personal differences. 

Dealing With Damaging Conflict

If allowed to persist, damaging conflict can harm the ability of the organisation to fulfil its mission.  They can put off potential funders and donors, placing the organisation's finances at risk and damaging the organisation's reputation.  As a result, staff and volunteers can become demoralised and service users or beneficiaries can be placed at risk.

Dealing With Conflict: What To Do When...

Most management committees/boards have some sort of challenge with individual members. Here's some examples with ideas regarding how you can handle this effectively.

Remember! All committee members have a valuable role to play. The diversity of membership, with differing backgrounds, skill-sets, experience and personalities can be a source of strength for the organisation if effectively managed.