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What are the costs of unresolved conflict?

Possible costs of leaving conflict unresolved, and of destructive or non-constructuve conflict resolution:

Advancing Workplace Mediation Through Theory and Practice, T.Butts, p.196

Possible effects on a personal level:
  • Anxiety, irritation
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Detachment
  • Physical and psychosomatic ailments
  • Apathy, burnout
  • Loss of commitment to organization
  • Loss of commitment to job
  • Loss of interest in job
  • Increasing frustration
  • Increasingly poorer communcation
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Distraction from work objectives
  • Decrease in personal work performance
  • Decrease in creativity
  • Decrease in productivity
  • Stress
Possible effects on an organizational level:
  • Decreased participation
  • Poor leadership
  • Solving the wrong problem
  • Not solving the problem
  • Absenteeism
  • Declining revenue
  • Increased employee turn-over rate
  • Increased human resources costs
  • Costs of training new emplyees
  • Tension
  • Distracted leaders
  • Absorbs energy
  • Energy diverted to conflict
  • Decreased attention to positive activity
  • Decreased creativity
  • Low morale
  • Power Struggles
  • Decreased trust and increased distrust
  • Decreased communication

Fix conflict.

"Unfortunately, conflict is considered taboo in many situations, especially at work"
~ The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
What is Conflict Management?
"The process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in organizational setting." - Wikipedia
Some will talk about "conflict resolution" as if resolving conflict is about making it go away. In reality conflict is a normal part of our daily human experience that results when we encounter differences in values, goals, perceptions with others. When tend to think of conflict in terms of a negative experience when these differences result in behaviours and actions that cause us pain, discomfort and stress. But conflict can be positive when we consider how it helps increase our awareness of differences with others. We can also utilize the skills and approaches that have been developed, allowing us to use conflict as a tool to move beyond the superficial in dialogue to build upon our differences, uncovering critical ideas that can be key to fresh thinking, creative ideas and new approaches.    
Conflict Styles

Contact us to facilitate the Style Matters Inventory for individuals,

small groups or large teams to help in managing relationships.

This inventory was developed by Dr. Ron Kraybill who created the

Conflict Style Inventory (KCSI) built around the Mouton-Blake grid,

which identifies five styles of responding to conflict, calling them

Directing, Harmonizing, Avoiding, Cooperating, and Compromising.

A mediative approach can empower organizations to resolve conflicts earlier and at less cost than arbitration and/or litigation, while maintaining critical workplace relationships. It works because its central purpose is to encourage the parties to engage directly with each other. If you're asking how mediation or a "facilitated conversation" can help challenges in your workplace, contact me to find out more. 
Timely and professional fact-finding can help protect reputations, reduce risk, and provide insights for sustaining a healthy workplace and culture. 
Conflict Coaching
Coaching discussion with individuals experiencing interpersonal conflict provides an effective means to confidentially discuss an issue, explore options and design an approach to address any conflict situation. Individuals will gain skills and strategies to engage in, manage, and productively resolve conflict.
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