This conflict happened a few years ago during one of the many Executive Committee(ExCo) meetings for our Co-Curricular Activity(CCA). This conflict involved the President, myself, the Co-Captain and the Secretary. The main issue of the conflict was the way the CCA trainings and logistics were run under the care and involvements of only the presidents instead of the ExCo.
Before ExCo was formed, there were unsettled disagreements among the team that was mostly swept under the rug. They were mainly; work ethics differences, gender stereotypes in leadership skills and attitudinal barriers. However, these unsettled disagreements were decided mutually amongst us to let bygones be bygones and move forward and to try to work as a team. Fast forward a few months later which is the start of the conflict. The meeting was an intervention proposed by the president in order to know about the reasons behind their consistent absence and/or lateness during most trainings.
The intervention got heated up when myself and the president were being blatantly accused for being the sole reason for their reluctance to come for most of the trainings. Two of my committee members had raised their voices and was pointing out that the training set up, attendance marking process and the leniency towards the juniors were not acceptable and it had been different from the way the seniors had done them. The anger in their voices were very distinctive to hear as they stated their accusations.
The president and myself were obviously shocked by what has been said. We tried to compromise our positions by trying to find out why they thought so and our fault so that we can improve ourselves and also the committee as a whole. Unfortunately, they became more aggressive. They started to point fingers stating that our incompetencies and our lack of trust in them caused the low attendance rate among the juniors. However, the fact was that the semester finals were in 2 weeks time and juniors would rather have more study time. It was a baseless accusation since we were the ones that had a lot of interactions with the juniors outside, during and after trainings.
In rebuttal, we pointedly state their faults and the reasons why things were done so and our lack of trust in them in dissatisfaction. This led to accusations increased and old disagreements were brought up. Not long after, the meeting room was filled with arguments. Since the intervention had gotten nowhere, the intervention had gone into a truce. We agreed on the terms of each of the ExCo members had to come for trainings at least 4 times per month and everyone has to be involved in the paperwork. Also, every ExCo member is to inform everyone what goes in and out of the CCA, be it good or bad, and everyone has to put trust in each other work ethics.
At that point of time, calling a truce was the best solution for the conflict. This was because as an ExCo, we needed to manage our differences and meet in a middle where everyone is able to work with each other peacefully in harmony. I do believe there are other ways of settling this conflict as I thought back given the situation of being the accusing party.
What do you think should’ve been done before or during the intervention without blowing things out of proportion and how would you play in this type of heated conflict? Do let me know.