Workplace Conflict Resolution – a Case Study

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Workplace Conflict Resolution – A Case Study Posted on October 13, 2009 Leaders frequently face situations where conflict arises in the workplace and they’re called upon to resolve the situation. Although conflict is not generally regarded as a positive experience it actually can be a key opportunity to create change that will reduce friction in the workplace. We can begin to defuse conflict by understanding what it is and implementing some practical strategies to manage it. Conflict is a natural part of the workplace experience; people do not see eye to eye on everything and often dig in and defend their positions. Conflict arises when individuals do not see the world in the same way. The trap we fall into is assuming that conflict…show more content…
Tom has tried everything he knows to smooth things out but the two still spar frequently. This chronic pattern has led to disciplinary action by Tom and complaints to human resources by Tina. Both parties are productive employees who love the company and their jobs but do not know how to move beyond all this conflict. Tom realizes that in order to build an effective team he has to have Tina on board but he doesn’t know how to do it. He knows that by using Tina’s skills and energy he will look better and the company will benefit. But how to do it? Following our common-sense approach Tom asks Tina to sit down and talk. It’s important to mention first that managers benefit greatly by putting in place some key elements that lead to successful conversations such as meeting at a mutually convenient time, no distractions or interruptions allowed, no agendas, a calm environment and unrestricted time to talk. When we set up an environment conducive to relaxed conversation we create a greater likelihood of success. A small investment in time up front to talk in depth can more than make up for the countless lost hours and cost devoted to ongoing conflict. They begin the conversation and together they discover that one issue at hand is that Tina prefers to work with less supervision. They agree that they will talk about that one issue and name it, “Tina working with less supervision.” The next thing they do is that each talks about what he or she thinks about Tina working
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