Back to Middle Matters

Turn Conflict into Collaboration with Lyn Wong

March 5, 2021

When there's no one right answer and potential solutions pull in opposite directions, how do we navigate this complexity, especially within organisations?

A challenge in managing people and teams is that many dilemmas don’t have one right answer, and potential solutions often pull in opposite directions, forcing leaders to choose one over the other. How do we navigate this complexity, especially within organisations?

Lyn Wong, Founder at Me2We, uses polarity thinking to balance conflicting forces and uncover new opportunities and ways of problem-solving.

In her workshop on Transform Conflict into Collaboration, Lyn breaks down polarity thinking to help you understand what it is and how it can help you at work.

Why does polarity thinking matter?

Senior leaders and managers constantly wrestle with the strategic and practical implications of priorities that appear to be in conflict. At times, the outcomes we want seem to oppose each other, such as:

  • Top-down vs. bottom-up leadership
  • Individual contribution vs. team effort
  • Centralisation vs. decentralisation
  • Continuity vs. change

It seems we can only choose one at the cost of the other. But just as in the Daoist concept of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ where opposing forces exist in harmony, so does polarity thinking when used on conflicting ideas to make the best of both worlds. In fact, our solutions sometimes need a mix of both ideas, and the probleme mentioned above now have solutions that’ll include both:

  • Top-down and bottom-up leadership
  • Individual contribution and team effort
  • Centralisation and decentralisation
  • Continuity and change

Through the framework of polarity thinking, we can unpack how conflicting ideas will pan out into practical solutions. From there, teams and organisations can find compromise between our polarised perspectives and create new solutions.

What you’ll learn

Through Lyn’s workshop, you’ll gain a greater understanding of:

  • What is polarity thinking and how it can help resolve conflict
  • How to create a narrative to convince stakeholders to look beyond their tension
  • How to use conflict to spark creative energy and fuel innovation

Conflict shouldn’t be something we are fearful of or avoid. Through this workshop, Lyn wants to see her colearners learn how to be more comfortable and competent in managing conflict.

Continue reading