Hierarchies often imply that a person or a group has some kind of power over another individual or group. This may be political power, or economic power or power of position or authority.
Sometimes one has to listen to people individually, or to help people talk about their issues before raising them with those they perceive to have power over them. Often a third party can be helpful when people in conflict perceive the power to be unbalanced. The third party would then make every effort to ensure that all the voices are heard and responded to.
Sometimes even those who are perceived to have power may be aware that their power structures are not as effective as they used to be. The world is changing and there are few societies that are immune from this. This may cause the one who is accustomed to having power to be unsure of their future. They may feel threatened even though they are perceived to be powerful.
When working in an administration or similar structure, people often get confronted with lack of effective leadership and incomprehensible or contradictory decisions from above. There may be a greater picture that explains these decisions, but there may as well be pure incompetence, and how to decide what is what? On the other hand, leaders feel a lack of understanding and commitment for their decisions in their team. This causes frustration on both sides, and since the hierarchies are given, the conflict is “frozen”. In this case, it can be helpful to learn more about team building methods.