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We all recognise the serious impact that conflict can have on our working lives and those of others. When it comes to considering some of the key fundamentals of a modern workplace, such as employee engagement, performance management, talent retention, innovation, and a positive working environment, conflict has the potential to undermine all of them.
Some of the statistics globally on this are startling:
0 of involuntary departures are related to unresolved conflict.
0 of non-managers believe that conflict is handled badly by those above them in the organisation.
0 of employees are disengaged.
0 of employees think managers could handle disputes better by addressing underlying tensions before things go wrong.
0 of managers have experienced harassment.
0 of departures report chronic unresolved conflict as a decisive factor in leaving.
0 of a manager’s time is spent dealing with conflict.
0 of employees experienced conflict that led to bullying.
0 of employees are actively disengaged.
Work-related conflict is among the top eight reasons why employees request counselling assistance.
Of the causes cited for conflict, two thirds of Irish workers (66%) think personality clashes are the major cause of conflict at work. It is very challenging for a manager or supervisor to handle this type of conflict. Research supports this, telling us that managers and leaders find it difficult to deal with conflict because it is filled with emotional issues that they find very hard to control.
Conflict Dynamics Profiling (CDP) uses assessment tools developed by the Centre for Conflict Dynamics in Eckerd College, Florida, to assess conflict behaviours and triggers. CDP provides managers with a powerful way to improve their self-awareness of what triggers them into conflict in the workplace, and once triggered, how they respond, both constructively and destructively. The ultimate aim of this process is to enable managers to develop their constructive responses which enable them to resolve and manage conflict with greater efficiency and to become conflict competent.