The Sixth Amendment states: „In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, ….“
For Americans, whether in the legal system or in the workplace, the right to a hearing is fundamental. The hearing allows for the parties in conflict to make their arguments and counter-arguments. It is the beginning of the formal process of conflict resolution. Americans expect the team lead to call a hearing quickly.
In a fair hearing the conflict parties have the opportunity to present evidence – including witnesses – and to discover what evidence is brought against them. The hearing also allows for questioning (cross-examination) of the opposing party‘s witnesses. A hearing is only fair if it is administered by an impartial third party.
In the American business context the manager, as judge, may resolve the conflict based on those arguments and counter-arguments, or use the hearing as a basis for further investigation into the reasons for the conflict.
Because American managers are responsible for the results their teams produce, they focus on maintaining internal team cohesion. Conflict of any kind threatens cohesion. After having learned of an internal conflict, American managers are inclined to call the conflict parties together at very short notice. That first hearing is direct, informal and personal. The manager wants to „get to the bottom of the problem.“