John Syc, LCSW, provides professional and independent advisory services in relation to employee matters of mediation (non-labor union matters) and conflict resolution.
Despite the demand to leave personal feelings at the door before entering the workplace… employees still bring all their emotional self to the desk.
Too often employees, managers, and leaders are left fending for themselves in the aftermath mess of a conflict.
I bring the tools and experience helping all levels of organizations manage unproductive conflict.
Although there is no perfect formula to manage conflict, the most successful tool is self-awareness.
I have extensive experience as a human capital consultant and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Bringing the fields of organizational development and human behavior together provides me with a unique talent for building the skills a workplace needs to manage conflict productively.
The biggest reason for conflict avoidance is the unpredictability.
Do you notice when you are in a verbal struggle with a coworker your body tightens, you hold your breath, and immediately think, “I want this to end?”
The solution is to gain the fundamentals of self-insight and human behavior.
The “Big Dig” in Boston was planned as a 7-year project… it took 16 years. A lot of smart people made the best of plans, but there were too many variables that could not have been predicted. Did you know they found ‘sunken’ ships as they were digging?
The same issue goes with conflict; there are too many variables and unknowns to teach how to resolve any given conflict. No single human being is the same from moment to moment.
But you can control one thing… how you as a person engage in conflict. Disagreement is possible without conflict. What distinguishes conflict from disagreements are commonly referred to as “negative” emotions, such as fear, anger, guilt, and shame.
So, every conflict, by definition, contains an indispensable emotional element. Gain awareness of your “negative” emotions and master control over them. You will be calmer in the face of conflict.
Conflict situations in the workplace are inevitable. But it is important to realize that even though most people try to avoid it, it is normal, healthy and necessary.
Conflict is a necessary ingredient to success.
Associates of the most effective organizations feel safe enough to disagree with each other. This allows improved decision making, innovation, and continuous improvement.
Despite the potential positive results of conflict, conflict can also be destructive. When conflict becomes personal and unmanaged, it cuts morale down significantly leading to lower productivity and higher turnover.
The real challenge is to determine which conflicts are healthy and which conflicts are harmful.
Mediation and facilitated discussions can be effective ways to improve working relationships and restore high-performing team dynamics. Resolving workplace disputes by mediation or facilitated discussions can also help avoid litigation.