Enabling employees to take a constructive approach to conflict

Your policies and your values doubtless indicate that you expect your employees to talk directly to each other when problems arise.

But it is not enough to have the expectation, or to state it in your policies!   Because most of us avoid difficult conversations, and the more we are in conflict with someone, the more reluctant we are to talk to them about it.  Being reluctant to talk to someone we are in conflict doesn’t mean we are ‘weak’, ‘shy’ or ‘gutless’, it means we are human.

Every one of us can struggle to raise things directly when our negative emotions are engaged.  And so sometimes we wait until the situation explodes or becomes  unbearable, when we can justify to ourselves making a formal complaint or resigning.

Either option can mean disaster, for the people involved and for the employer. Lost productivity, sickness absence, loss of talent, and disengaged employees are par for the course where people are left to get on with ‘getting on’ with each other.

Imagine if all your employees had the confidence and skills to raise difficult matters or sources of complaint directly with others.  This would save management time, result in better decisions and more output, it would mean better customer service and HR who are free to get on with more strategic issues.

Giving your employees conflict management skills means giving them a better understanding of the impact of their behaviour on others; having better communication skills means they don’t inadvertently trigger disagreements or offend colleagues; and it means that when they do have a complaint that needs management or HR support, it will be something more appropriate for you to step in and deal with.

It’s always an unknown quantity when employing an external training provider, however, CMP was really what it said on the tin, the experts in conflict management, the trainers were really excellent and experts in their field!

Conflict Management Skills and Mediation Service Set-up Commissioner, ILM Professional Workplace Mediator and Conflict Management Skills Delegate, Head of HR & DiversityNorth Glamorgan NHS Trust (Now Cwm Taf UHB)

Staff thought the study days were excellent. They were all very enthusiastic. When cases of bullying have come up they’ve been prompt to act. Managers are acting more speedily than they otherwise would have. They are acting quickly and appropriately, so we have rarely had to use the formal procedure, they have been resolved at low level.

Conflict Management and Dignity at Work Training Commissioner and Delegate, Head of HRBarts NHS Trust

CMP created a bespoke a 3 hour workshop on Managing Conversations for us. The session was to get staff to think about conflicts and why they arise and then to provide them with some skills on communicating effectively and build confidence in being assertive in challenging difficult behaviour. Staff were thrilled about the workshop and the skills that they were able to develop in this time.

Difficult Conversation Workshop Commissioner, HR ManagerThe Abbeyfield Society

The facilitation for HR training was excellent both in terms of the content and the trainer who was professional and very knowledgeable. Some aspects of the training were specifically tailored to meet our particular needs and the learner feedback was extremely positive.

Facilitation Skills for HR Training Delegate, Training ManagerEast & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

I have no hesitation in recommending CMP, they offer excellent value for money and provide a service that is second to none! CMP provides a complete and professional service. From initial enquiry through administration and delivery, CMP covers all the bases. They are knowledgeable, professional and approachable and found flexible solutions to our training requirements. The feedback for the training has been outstanding. In addition to a collection of superlatives such as “fantastic” “inspiring” and “excellent” staff have stated that they came away with practical advice they can apply in real situations and, more to the point, have said it works!

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer, Staff Development AdvisorUniversity of Gloucestershire

Our front-line housing staff regularly face challenging and potentially threatening situations. We engaged CMP to equip our staff with appropriate skills to meet these challenges and defuse threatening situations. Their professional approach and participative style have always been well-received and have contributed to the first-class customer service we aim to deliver.

Conflict Management Skills Training Commissioner, Head of Learning and DevelopmentLondon and Quadrant Housing

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management training to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. CMP listened to our needs and worked with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional OfficerHampshire Fire and Rescue

Conflict management training was a totally new concept to me! The trainer was excellent, and very witty. He delivered the course at a good pace with superb knowledge.

Conflict Management Training Delegate, Deputy ManagerStaffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management courses of varying levels to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. From our initial discussions, it was evident that CMP were keen to listen to our needs and work with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements. The successful partnership combined with local provision and high-quality trainers has developed into a key part of our overall strategy for management development of our staff.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional Officer Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

The conflict management course was thought provoking and applicable to very many situations with very useful theory and practice. The trainer was very engaging, an excellent facilitator, related well to the group, had an excellent personality and made the training interesting and a positive learning experience.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerMersey Care NHS Trust

A staff member is unhappy about how his boss has talked to him

Mike doesn’t know how to respond when his boss reprimands him for lateness – and rather than talk directly to his manager, he talks to a colleague. Which makes matters worse.