Looming Conflict

I’m surprised more people didn’t come along to the golf day; everyone seemed to think it was a great idea at our last staff meeting.

I’ve just had to approve another request for Karen to move from her current work station. I’m not quite sure what is going on.

As a manager, it can be difficult to know everything that is going on in your team.

You may be doing everything possible to ensure an open, supportive and productive working environment. You have regular staff meetings, your door is always open, and the social club is active, but you are getting the increasing sense that something is just not right.

You may have noticed that there is less office ‘banter’, staff may appear unmotivated to put forward new ideas, or more unwilling than usual to bring solutions to the table at meetings.

At Venus Consulting, we recognise this as the first of three stages of escalating workplace conflict.

Looming conflict is often experienced as a general sense of unease in the workplace, where staff may simply be unsure of where they can go to seek help or clarification about their concerns.

While the conflict at this stage has the potential to escalate, as a manager, you may not yet be aware of any open hostility between your staff members, and no one has as yet brought it to your attention.

At this level of conflict, we recognise that it may be difficult for staff to know exactly how to bring a problem to your attention, as they may simply lack the communication skills or confidence to know how to speak to you about an issue that they find challenging or confronting.

Often, while you may have established clear processes and procedures, and clearly outlined your team’s objectives, your staff may not have the confidence to seek clarification from other staff members, as to the rest of the team, it may look as though they do not fully understand their own job role or function.

At Venus Consulting we can work closely with you and your team to identify individual behavioural and communication styles, and develop strategies for dealing with looming conflict before it escalates.

Contact us today to find out how our Workplace Prosperity Program can get you back on track again.