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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Restorative justice is a process for achieving justice that helps to restore the dignity of all people involved in a wrong-doing and puts into place a framework for all people involved to have the opportunity to share in their mutual human development.
Mediators and peacemakers work with individuals and groups experiencing conflict. The role of a mediator is to be an impartial, third-party facilitator who helps individuals and / or groups achieve resolution to a conflict. A “conflict sherpa,” the mediator is trained to move parties through a resolution process while ensuring the parties maintain complete control over the outcome. The process for arriving at resolution belongs to the mediator. The resolution of the dispute belongs to the parties, which means a resolution may or may not occur. Relationships may or may not be restored. The pain associated with the conflict may or may not be healed. Forgiveness may or may not be desired and / or achieved. The role of a peacemaker and peace-builder goes far beyond that.
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.”
Several weekends ago I headed to the airport with a friend for a much anticipated weekend getaway to Montreal. Neither of us had been to Canada, and we both were looking forward to a weekend filled with adventure. Little did we know our adventure would begin at the airport.