We can observe that conflicts or disputes in larger organisations are increasingly being conducted in public. The best example of this is the dispute in November last year between the Board of Directors and the CEO of Open AI. Following the dismissal of the CEO, there was an internal revolt by the employees, which led to the reinstatement of the CEO and the dismissal of the board. Different value systems have clashed and the various committees and functionaries have not managed to form a common direction or vision.

Disputes are certainly part of everyday life in any company, but caution is advised when entire departments are paralysed or even, as in the case of Open AI, when an entire company gets into difficulties. Important decisions must be supported by the employees, which requires careful communication behaviour from line managers, including in the allocation of responsibilities.

Research has shown that conflicts also have positive aspects and, in the best cases, improve creativity, productivity and teamwork. This observation applies above all to situations where you manage to allow a wide variety of perspectives on a challenge or problem and everyone contributes to the defined measures to find a solution.

It is important for companies to pay attention to where relationship conflicts arise and emotions play an even greater role, and consequently the relationship of trust is sometimes disturbed. According to a survey by the Workmed competence centre and the health insurer Swica, almost 60% of all mentally related incapacity for work is due to conflicts at work and around half of those on sick leave lose their jobs.

Managers have an important role to play here. Not only must they be able to recognise such situations at an early stage, they must also support a corporate culture based on trust and respect, which makes it possible to include other points of view and create the basis for a community of values.

Conflicts have increased and poor leadership behaviour, weak decision-making or authoritarian leadership is becoming more visible these days, leading to destructive behaviour.

Conflicts often arise during change, and as we find ourselves in a more complex and ambiguous world that is becoming faster and faster, it is all the more important to create a constructive environment for the best achievement of goals.

Coaching and leadership programmes can support managers and entire companies to not only demonstrate the understanding and importance of transformation, but also to create a climate of psychological safety and positive energy.