Embrace Conflict with Proactive Checkpoints
Increased isolation and more constrained interactions within remote work environments can exacerbate some of the negative aspects of white supremacy culture – especially defensiveness, a fear of open conflict, and a right to comfort. Embracing conflict ensures issues are resolved, particularly for those with less power and privilege.
USE THIS IN ORDER TO…
Create space for addressing interpersonal dynamics and convey that differences are expected.
Support a diverse team in effectively working together in a way that values different perspectives and emphasizes collaboration.
Strengthen relationships even in the midst of conflict.
Make time to reflect and address tensions within work plans and project management timelines so that a sense of urgency and pressures to conserve time don’t become excuses to avoid conflict. Project teams can build checkpoints into their project management timeline and processes.
Focus on issues, not individuals; “remind yourself and others to not take everything personally.” (Okun)
To prevent defensiveness, consider framing these checkpoints as opportunities to learn and get better; “discomfort is at the root of all growth and learning.” (Okun)
CONSIDERATIONS FOR REMOTE IMPLEMENTATION
Build the forum and choose participants intentionally to ensure a balance of perspectives.
Name an issue right away that is not easy to pass by or ignore in a remote work setting, and proactively name what could come up.
ARTIFACTS & RESOURCES
“Conflict is a normal part of human interaction. The goal is to normalize it by making regular times to address it.”
– Rachel Scott, NYCLA