Our CEO and Founder, Dr Mike Talbot, was approached by CIPD’s People Management magazine for his input into an article on a topic close to Mike’s heart: resolving workplace conflicts.
The end result is a comprehensive look at the world of workplace conflict, espousing the benefits of tackling it head-on through mediation and ensuring formal processes are a last resort for HR managers.
Here’s an extract:
Mike Talbot, psychotherapist, mediator and founder and CEO of UK Mediation, agrees: “Conflict is not only a fact of life, it’s also positive – it helps you come up with new ideas, integrate people’s different skills and abilities, and find a ‘third way’ to do things, which leads to innovation and creativity.”
In essence, conflict resolution skills are only an extension of the normal ‘dialogue’ managers should be having with their teams. Talbot says that when he is asked to conduct a structured mediation, “at the end of the process you often find the individuals themselves saying ‘why didn’t we do this six months ago? All we needed was a chat.’” It is, he says, “a big miss” by companies – particularly those that prevent people seeing or speaking to each other until the grievance procedure is concluded.
But most people need training in conflict management skills to make them both competent and confident. “Some people are natural mediators, but most have to learn it, and the key skills are listening and resisting offering solutions,” says Talbot.