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If you are working on a project that means a lot to you but is also challenging, you couldadopt a critical friend to provide you with tough feedback. A Masters project that courseco-author, Owain, recently marked was based around a large change project at auniversity concerning childcare. The student concerned very cleverly identified thebiggest sceptic within the organisation and made a point of meeting this person frequentlythroughout the project in order to debate the issue and receive feedback. The point here isnot to try to convince sceptics that they are incorrect but to genuinely be open to analternative point of view. It also helps if this person is capable of such engagement.Recognise power differentials and adapt your strategy accordingly. Not everyone is equalin terms of power and status within most organisations and certainly not everyone withinany organisationfeelsequal in terms of power and status. If you are in a senior position orable to influence the culture of an organisation, then you do need to bear powerdifferentials in mind. Some people will simply not feel safe in expressing their viewspublicly and agonistically. You need to seek out alternative ways of encouraging people tospeak up. People need to feel safe and valued before they can express themselves. Youmight consider smaller-scale and informal ways of encouraging people to expresschallenging viewpoints or model such practice and invite them to do likewise. Or, anagonistic approach might just not be for everyone – some people prioritise other things intheir lives other than work, come to work to quietly get on with it and would rather not getany more involved. This is their right and it is proper that their wishes are respected.Assign someone a conflictual role. This is a sub-optimal strategy as it suggests thatdisagreement should be something that is manufactured. Nevertheless, if an organisationis unaccustomed to behaving in agonistic ways, assigning someone a role of challenge-generator can be a useful first step. They can adopt this role in meetings or eveninformally.Week 5: Generating good conflict in collaborative leadership4 Getting on with agonistic conflict73 of 134Thursday 12 March 2020
Activity 1 Experimenting with agonistic conflictAllow about 30 minutesNow that you have reflected on some of the ways that you could instigate moreagonistic conflict in your workplace, you should actively experiment with this way ofworking and then reflect on how it went.Think about an issue at work you judge could benefit from some more agonisticengagement. Now think about how you could go about generating some constructivechallenges on this issue: Will you apply any of the approaches discussed above thisactivity? The next step is to try it out in practice at work. You might want to let your

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Term
Three
Professor
MONARCH
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