Conflict in the workplace is a serious issue that can result in absenteeism, reduced productivity, high turnover, and lost revenue. Often employees don’t have the tools needed to effectively deal with conflict and many find it difficult to keep what could be minor, isolated incidents from becoming chronic or widespread.
“How do we fire someone and not have it come back to bite us?”
While businesses may couch this question in more delicate terms, that’s essentially what they’re asking: how can we get rid of this person? For labour and employment lawyers, this is a standard question, and it comes with some standard responses. As they say, when you’ve got a hammer in your hand, every problem is a nail. Could it benefit both you and your clients if you were able to throw a wrench into the mix?
As a professional, it’s nice to stumble upon someone in your field who really gets it, who is committed to and passionate about our work. Through LinkedIn, I was fortunate enough to connect with Cinnie Noble, a widely respected mediator, conflict coach, consultant, speaker, and author. She is also the creator of the Cinergy coaching model, which, in many ways, aligns with my philosophy of conflict resolution. The foundation of this model is to “provide individualized assistance for building conflict competence.” This is a skill that too often we are not taught or encouraged to procure.
I would never waste valuable work time on Facebook. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is dangerous. You can easily get wrapped up in discussions, completely work-related though they may be! One discussion question, posed by Cinnie Noble, conflict management coach and founder of Cinergy, was along the lines of: what if you have a client with whom you are meeting as a conflict coach and you learn early on that this person has no intention of resolving the conflict? In fact, this person intends to continue to fight until it gets him/her fired. What do you do?