Conflict as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Elements of Conflict
Disagreement - Generally, we are aware there is some level of difference in the positions of the two (or more) parties involved in the conflict. This could be true disagreement or perceived disagreement
Parties involved - There are often disparities in our sense of who is involved in the conflict. Sometimes, people are surprised to learn they are a party to the conflict, while other times we are shocked to learn we are not included in the disagreement. The parties involved can become an elusive concept to define.
Perceived threat - People respond to the perceived threat, rather than the true threat, facing them. Thus, while perception doesn't become reality per se, people's behaviors, feelings and ongoing responses become modified by that evolving sense of the threat they confront. If we can work to understand the true threat (issues) and develop strategies (solutions) that manage it (agreement), we are acting constructively to manage the conflict.
Needs, interests or concerns - There is a tendency to narrowly define "the problem" as one of substance, task, and near-term viability. However, workplace conflicts tend to be far more complex than that, for they involve ongoing relationships with complex, emotional components.
When conflict at work escalates into a dispute, communication can become difficult or break down altogether.
Our independent workplace mediators can help to restore healthy working relationships through private impartial alternative dispute resolution advice, negotiation and support.
We also provide dispute and conflict resolution training courses to help improve mediation skills and work based management of conflict.
What is Workplace Mediation?
Workplace mediation is an informal, structured process in which an independent third party, a mediator, helps people in a disagreement or dispute to create a way forward.
Mediation introduces a powerful new dynamic to any negotiation or dispute discussion. It enables people to
restore and develop healthy working relationships.
Workplace mediation is future-focussed - it is concerned with how things will be from now on rather than finding blame for how things have been in the past. It is optional - any party can withdraw from the process at any time.
The goal of workplace mediation is for the people involved in a disagreement or dispute to negotiate their own mutually agreed solutions to the issues between them.