Common Sense Services

Are managers running away from conflict?

It’s one of the most common things for HR teams to talk to me about. “We don’t get to hear about it until the conflict has been seething for months and then we are expected to get it sorted!”

When I set out as an independent mediator it quickly became clear to me that many of the cases I saw had common roots and a common way of growth. They grew the same way as brambles or bindweed. Thriving on being ignored and eventually smothering everything and everyone in their path. These entangled, strangled situations had been brought to HR who had few choices in how to handle them – call in a mediator or use formal grievance /disciplinary processes if that didn’t do the trick.

Whilst I love working as a mediator, I wanted to make a difference much earlier in these conflict stories. To prevent as many as possible from ever getting to the stage of needing formal mediation. To avoid the pain, frustration and productivity damage that all long-term conflicts cause. I wanted to equip supervisors and line managers with the tools, tricks and, above all, confidence to recognise conflict at its seedling stage and get it sorted then and there.

And so, I developed “Conflict management for line managers” a one day, highly interactive workshop that demystifies the process of workplace conflict, explores its’ impact and provides intensely practical tools for line managers and supervisors to use week in, week out.

2 years on we have worked with companies across the UK, supporting their leadership teams to identify, address and resolve conflict early, building stronger relationships and resilient teams.

So, if managers are beating a path to your door with gnarled and thorny conflict situations, we’d be delighted to talk to you about an alternative approach.