When we think of conflict, and in particular conflict management – we often focus our thoughts on the individuals at the head of it. Perhaps a strong character within the team, or maybe a clash of personalities, values or objectives across a range of individuals. But conflict can and often does have far wider implications, leading to teams, departments or even entire organisations being affected.
To understand the effects of conflict on an organisation, we need look no further than the example of dropping a small stone into a lake on a still day. What starts off as a small, localised disturbance can very quickly effect areas far away from the originating source. Low morale, increased staff turnover, project failures and under-performing teams are just some of the challenges that conflict can bring.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll notice the human side too. Confidence and creativity are replaced by fear and paranoia, openness by suspicion, wellness by sickness and motivation by indifference.
Conflict breeds conflict and so the management of it in any relationship or organisation is critical to its success. What might start off as a conflict between two individuals can very quickly draw in entire teams. The more time, energy and emotion that conflict consumes, the less of each there is available for your relationships and your organisation to succeed. At times like these, a mediator who specialises in workplace conflict can be an invaluable asset.
Successful conflict management is not just about dousing the flames of already raging conflicts through mediation, it’s about understanding what ignites the spark of conflict in the beginning. It’s about learning to communicate proactively and engage in deeper conversations to minimise the risk of conflict arising and it’s about understanding how, in the right circumstances – conflict can be embraced for the good of everyone involved.
As an expert in mediation and conflict management with over 20 years’ experience, I have developed a unique methodology which is particularly powerful when working with teams of people in conflict – often in extreme states of disarray. But whether your challenges rise from an individual or a team, by acknowledging the impact that conflict can have on your organisation, you have already taken an important first step to overcoming the challenges it presents.
Now, whether you need to react to an existing conflict, or you want to understand how to identify and manage conflict proactively in your organisation, the next step is to contact me directly by completing the form to the right of this page.