If you manage people or processes, you most likely experience near constant workplace conflict. From warring egos to workplace stress and heavy workloads, the American workplace is wrought with conflict. Yet, few managers receive any training in conflict management and dispute resolution. This lack of effective conflict management skills in the workplace is costing corporations approximately $359 billion in paid hours. It doesn’t have to be this way.
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If you lead or manage people, processes or projects, you have experienced workplace conflict. After all, where there are people, there is conflict. And where there is conflict, there is a choice.
Conflict is normal and occurs in every aspect of our lives, yet it is especially prevalent in the workplace. In fact, a study commissioned by CPP, Inc. in partnership with OPP, Ltd. found that 85 percent of the study’s participants reported experiencing conflict in the workplace at “some level” and 29 percent reported experiencing conflict in the workplace “almost constantly.”
Last Saturday I attended the St. Louis Blues / Dallas Stars game. It was an exciting game that had the fans of both teams on the edge of their seats. At one point during the game, a St. Louis Blues player lost control of his hockey stick, and it was projected out of the rink. Unlike a fly baseball which is typically caught only by one person, the hockey stick, given its size, was caught by several people. An intense three-person round of tug-of-war ensued.
The criminal justice system of the United States is a punitive system designed to hold individuals who have committed crimes accountable to the state. Within this system, “accountable” is synonymous with “punishment.” Because the criminal justice system is focused almost exclusively on the person who committed the crime and the punishment that person should receive, those who are most affected by the crime are alienated from the process.