The passive form of mediation - Deepstash
You don’t need to get in someone’s face. Here are 5 other ways to manage conflict and create change

You don’t need to get in someone’s face. Here are 5 other ways to manage conflict and create change

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The passive form of mediation

The passive form of mediation

Nayami sōdan is practised by Japanese Buddhist priests in community-facing temples throughout the countryside. Nayami means grievance or complaint, and sōdan means consultation or discussion with the desire to receive advice.

The typical flow of nayami sōdan is casual greetings, some light refreshments, small talk, a revealing, one-sided venting of frustrations, understanding of the other party, more small talk, and final goodbyes.

Nayami sōdan can facilitate employee experience management

Nayami sōdan can facilitate employee experience management

Nayami sōdan are successful because they are attuned to the realities of human relationships. 

  • Human emotions fluctuate and opinions change. Nayami sōdan creates the space for people to express their inconsistent and dissonant experiences about human relationships.
  • People prefer to get along, but close-knit relationships breed tensions. Nayami sōdan provides a less confrontational means of addressing the conflict.
  • Community solutions solve community problems.
  • Business relationships form complex constellations of interdependent relationships that can be highly charged.

In defence of indirectness

In defence of indirectness

Many employees are reluctant to talk to HR representatives or leaders about their experiences because they worry that candid conversations will lead to confrontations. 

Employees often express a desire to maintain harmony as they don't feel comfortable with conflict. An indirect intervention can help to resolve internal strife.

Passive intervention

The nayami sōdan works off the premise that effective conflict management does not need to be direct. However, the fear of confrontation can cause individuals to downplay or deny their experience.

An individual can passively create organizational change without bringing conflict to a pitch. 

Methods to accomodate indirect intervention

  1. Create a space for employees to drop in and talk.
  2. Make use of remote meetings.
  3. Practice active listening. People sometimes need to blow off steam.
  4. Empower employee agency. After listening and processing an employee’s conflict, let them plan the next steps. Ask questions like, “How do you want to handle this?” 
  5. Cultivate an atmosphere of openness. For example, invite guest speakers with diverse perspectives who specialize in conflict management. 

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