On the whole people go to work intending to do their best, get along with colleagues and find some reward and satisfaction. However, it’s not always easy and however much we might like it to happen, it is not possible for people to suppress their personality on any sustainable basis; the idea that we can leave our feelings at home is not realistic. When managers demand this they are actually denying the conflict which will inevitably escalate it. Conflicts at work are a major source of stress, not only for those directly involved but also for people who are indirectly affected or associated. And when people feel stressed the employer has a responsibility to manage the issues.
Interpersonal Workplace Conflict
Day to day conflicts arise in all walks of life. When a group of people are thrown together and expected to work towards a common goal it is natural that differences will arise. Mostly, team members can work with their managers to find a way forward but sometimes it just isn’t possible without outside help. Recognising this early enough on is a major issue in many organisations.
Here are several ways in which Peaceful Solutions can assist:
Interpersonal Mediation between 2 people
In response to a client referral, a suitably qualified, impartial mediator will work to manage the dispute in a day. The mediator will meet the 2 parties separately and, if both are in agreement and the case is suitable for mediation, they will attend a joint meeting to see if the matter can be resolved.
Interpersonal Mediation between more than 2 people
Where the conflict involves more than one person the situation will be assessed by the mediator(s) to develop a bespoke solution.
Interpersonal Mediation between teams
Sometimes one team has difficulties with another team. We can help explore the difficulties and manage negotiations between the teams to build co-operative relationships.
Sometimes where a dispute manifests is not necessarily the source of the conflict. Blame, avoidance, denial and criticism get in the way of identifying the real problem. In these issues, Peaceful Solutions have a conflict audit process which seeks to uncover the deeper issues and provide recommendations for remedy.
Once disciplinary and grievance processes are underway employment rights form the basis of negotiations. If emotions are clouding the issues or if legal costs look set to escalate, then mediation can provide a confidential and proportionate setting in which to negotiate an outcome.
Mediation can be implemented at any stage through disciplinary or grievance and pre-tribunal. In line with government thinking, employment tribunals look favourably on a participant that has offered mediation as a means to resolution or settlement. Because the agreements made are confidential and do not set precedents and the mediation is ‘without prejudice’, the parties are free to explore all possible options for resolving the matter.