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Thu., Nov 23, 2017
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Health And Wellbeing - Managing Conflict

Conflict is “the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests.”
When differences of opinion escalate into conflict – intervention is necessary immediately.  Why? To prevent the development of an organisational culture which fosters negativity and bad industrial and employee relations.
Symptoms of conflict include –

  • Motivation drops – little employee input at team meetings/fewer people volunteer for tasks
  • Behaviour changes – derogatory remarks towards each other/fewer social events organised
  • Productivity falls – complaints when people are not cooperating with each other
  • Sickness absence increases – unhappiness may lead to depression or stress

Preventing Conflict

  • Bring issues out into the open before they become problems.
  • Be aware of triggers, and respond to them when you first notice them.
  • Have a process for resolving conflicts – bring up the subject at a meeting and get agreement on what people should do in cases of differing viewpoints.
  • It is important that everyone understands the College’s goals and expectations, including what’s expected of each individual. 
  • Recognise and praise accomplishment.  When employees fell valued and appreciated for the work they do, fights and disagreements are less likely.
  • Discourage gossip and don’t put people in the position of spying on each other.
  • Strive to build relationships with others that are non-judgemental, understanding and open.

Responding to Conflict

Fight

Reacting in a challenging way.  This may mean shouting or losing your temper at work.

Flight

Turning your back on what’s going on.  This is a common reaction – by ignoring a problem you hope it will go away.

Freeze

You are unsure how to react and become passive.  You may begin to deal with the issue but things drift or become drawn out because of indecision.

FACE IT

Approaching a problem in a calm and rational way with a planned approach.

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