Why does KDHX use 3rd party facilitators for difficult conversations?
KDHX began partnering with the Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) of St. Louis in 2021.
CRC is a nonprofit dedicated to helping the St. Louis community resolve conflicts and disputes more peacefully.
KDHX established the partnership for a variety of reasons.
1. KDHX is a mid-sized organization with a small paid staff and a sizeable unpaid staff population. Like many organizations of KDHX’s size, the financial resources are not available to maintain a full-time human resources staff. KDHX also recognizes that even if a full-time human resources staff were hired, there would still exist biases, conscious and unconscious, and power dynamics that could affect the ability of KDHX staff and volunteers to engage in open dialogue. CRC serves as a neutral third party to guide conversations, seek resolution, and create space to listen to each other.
2. KDHX believes that a healthy organizational culture includes the ability to disagree and navigate conflict. CRC conducted a healthy culture assessment for KDHX in late 2021. CRC gathered feedback from staff and volunteers through a survey. CRC also evaluated KDHX’s grievance policies through the lens of healthy conflict. Based on feedback from the volunteers/staff survey and CRC’s assessment of policies, CRC suggested to KDHX how to encourage a healthy organizational culture. Based on CRC’s assessment and suggestions, KDHX updated four policies. KDHX added a conflict resolution policy to make frameworks for addressing disagreement and conflict available to all staff and volunteers.
3. KDHX’s conflict resolution policy applies to staff and volunteers. It encourages use of CRC’s services in situations where power dynamics, perceived biases, anger, or fear may play a role. KDHX uses CRC to facilitate conversations between individuals and groups. CRC sets mutual expectations for the participating parties that are used to guide the conversation.
4. CRC hosts workshops for KDHX staff and volunteers like “Creating a More Empathetic Workplace.” Staff workshops include Conflict De-escalation Training and Better Teams with BART (boundaries, authority, role, and task).