Conflict in the workplace impacts on all facets of our work environment. Conflict can be costly on our emotions and our bank accounts with decreases in productivity levels, increases in absenteeism and a generally awkward and tense environment. While work is only one aspect of our lives, we spend a great deal of time doing our job which makes it easy for the stress we experience 9-5 to spill into our personal lives. Once we begin carrying our work stress 24/7, we start paying a particularly high emotional price. This is true for employers and employees.
How we approach conflict is not ‘one size fits all.’ Conflict is unique in how it manifests and it is important to understand if the conflict you are experiencing is founded in differences of opinion, values, interests or relationship issues. When managed poorly, the damaging effects can be long lasting with individuals experiencing a sense of failure, resentment and hurt. When managed well however, conflict can be the stepping stone to improved communication, team cohesion and a sense of achievement.
Whether disputes arise with your manager, colleagues or teams, it is important that issues be dealt with in a positive and safe manner. Dispute Resolution is a process that provides clear and safe boundaries within which to address issues and reach agreements. Facilitated by a Dispute Resolution Practitioner, each party to the dispute has an opportunity to speak with the Practitioner alone at the start of the process. This gives the participants and the Practitioner an opportunity to ‘flesh’ out the issues. Following individual sessions, the Practitioner guides a structured session with all parties so that issues can be safely addressed and outcomes negotiated.
In addition to reaching outcomes, working through difficult issues with the support of a Dispute Resolution Practitioner can assist workers identify what they need to grow both professionally and personally. Practitioners are well equipped to link employees and employers with specific resources and support including Human Resource assistance, Leadership training, Counselling, Assertiveness training and much more.
If you are concerned about a conflict at your workplace, please do not hesitate to call us for a confidential discussion about we might be able to assist.