Suppose you were at a meeting where one of your coworkers insults another? This is the stuff that breeds festering conflict in organizations. What’s needed is a good conflict resolution technique. Well-meaning people who are unfamiliar with conflict management may try one of these approaches:
- Stay silent (after all, you are not involved)
- Stay silent in the moment and talk to the offender privately later (this is consistent with the adage, “praise in public, criticize privately”)
- Tell the offender in front of everyone that he’s completely out of line and explain why he is wrong
- Change the topic so that the meeting can move on to more safe topics
If none of these options sounds satisfactory, then you’re right, there are other alternatives. We call it Speaking Up Responsibly.