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What do we do when we see conflict occurring in the workplace?

Updated: May 7

Most people want to avoid conflict because it makes them feel uncomfortable, particularly when it results in raised voices. The fallback for many supervisors is the grievance policy which in effect says that the people involved need to sort the matter out at the lowest level possible, in other words, sort it out yourself. But what if there's a power imbalance or some genuine narcissistic behaviour at play or its gasslighting? Statistics tell us that about 50% of people will leave an organisation when they are involved in conflict in the workplace. Some leave because they don't feel supported, some think the policy and process is just too hard to navigate and some don't have the confidence that their managers have the skills to be able to adequately address the issue. Is relying on a policy really the best your organisation has to offer? Can you afford to lose good staff and arguably retain the staff who are creating the conflict in the first place? There are much more effective means of dealing with workplace conflict positively, but it has to start with a conscious decision to change the way your organisation manages these issues. How is your organisation placed to deal with the reality of conflict at work?

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