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  • CCMS (Conflict & Complaint Management Services)

Reframing a Combative Approach – How, Not Who

Dear Conflict and Complaint Management Services,

My colleague and I don’t see eye to eye on anything. I need someone to help figure out which one of us is right and which one of us is wrong? Can you help?

When we frame our concerns as right and wrong, we’ve created a situation in which someone wins and someone loses. When complaints escalate due to lack of effective communication between colleagues and we have a sole focus on winning the argument, a ‘victory’ can still leave us unhappy after the fact. This is due to the way we converse when a discussion is set up as combative, that is a win/lose scenario. When we instead approach it as a collaborative discussion, i.e. framing it as, “How can my colleague and I see eye to eye?”, it is set up so both parties can ‘win’, and interestingly, only the two of you have the answer to that question. It makes for a much richer and fuller discussion with a result that is sustainable, more so than if someone answers the question for you. Like a court of law, when you give the power to someone else to answer a right/wrong question, you may not like the answer you get. Even if you “win”, you’re most likely left with an unhappy colleague with whom you still have to work. Providing the process to have a collaborative conversation in a safe and encouraging environment is something the Conflict and Complaint Management Services (CCMS) can assist with.

Defence Team members looking to connect with a Conflict and Complaint Management Service (CCMS) agent may do so by visiting a local CCMS office or calling toll-free at 1-833-328-3351, M-F between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST. Additional details related to CCMS services are available on the CSS website.

*Conflict and Complaint Management Services (CCMS), a unit within the Director General Conflict Solutions and Ser-vices (DG Integrated Conflict and Complaint Services), are part of the Chief Professional Conduct and Culture organ-ization. To learn more about culture evolution within DND/CAF visit us online.

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