Addressing Conflict in the Workplace

Rich Birke discusses workplace conflict management strategies on The Good Mornings Podcast


Conflict tends to rise slightly in summer due to the stress of balancing work and family, making it a crucial time for effective conflict resolution strategies.
Addressing politics at work
Richard Birke Lead Facilitator and Trainer

Rich Birke recently participated in an engaging podcast interview with the Good Mornings Podcast and its host, Chris Oaks. Rich shared his extensive knowledge on conflict resolution in the workplace, providing valuable insights for those navigating professional disputes.

In the interview, Rich tackled the misconception that workplace conflict is on the rise. He explained that while social media amplifies the perception of increased conflict, statistics show no significant uptick. Instead, he emphasized that modern society's intolerance for discrimination and unfair treatment has led to more people seeking resolutions rather than quitting their jobs.

Rich also highlighted the seasonal nature of conflict, noting a slight increase during the summer months when the stress of balancing work and family can be higher. This can spill over into the workplace, making it timely to address conflict resolution strategies.

"Not all conflict is bad. In fact, some is productive."

Building on this idea, Rich shared some key strategies to manage and harness conflict effectively. He suggested redirecting focus towards shared goals and tasks, which helps teams concentrate on what’s important. Enforcing workplace rules consistently and evenhandedly is crucial in maintaining a respectful environment. It's also important to distinguish between task conflicts, which can be productive, and relationship conflicts, which tend to be unproductive and disruptive. Rich advises individuals to pause before reacting to potential conflicts, allowing for more thoughtful responses. Promoting a culture of inquiry over judgment helps in understanding the intent behind comments rather than jumping to conclusions. Lastly, leaders should recognize when they need to call in third-party professionals, seeing it as a sign of wisdom and strength rather than failure.

Rich concluded by reinforcing the importance of professional help in managing complex disputes, highlighting JAMS Pathways' role in offering comprehensive conflict resolution services.

This page is for general information purposes. JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals.
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