Conflict skills at work: less absenteeism and more productivity

More than a quarter of employees experience problems with colleagues every year. It does not have to be alarming in itself, when working together it is not always easy and peaceful. But you can prevent escalation. How do you do it? Jan Plevier and Frank Emmelot have been monitoring many labor disputes and now know how to make sure things do not get out of control. In their book ‘Conflict at work’, they share their knowledge and provide practical tools.

Hot and cold

Labor disputes have a major impact on those directly involved, and Jan Plevier, independent broker and partner for Groeifabriek and InterVentium, wants to help prevent this. Oddly enough, he mainly makes sure that his work becomes redundant. “No one really wants to let a conflict build up so a mediator has to be involved. It may sound strange to come from a broker, but for me it is better to be at the forefront of this. ” Irritations in themselves can not always be avoided. Nothing human is foreign to us and we can all get annoyed with a colleague from time to time. But it goes wrong when people come upstairs and tell them what they think. This often creates a hot conflict, the tension rises, resulting in a personal confrontation. Or people decide to avoid the colleague in the hope that it will get better. With the chance of a cold conflict, which could lead to a war of attrition. “It may seem logical behavior, but it is better to have an open and honest conversation. Of course, you also have to look critically at yourself, where does it come from? ”

Also read: A good conversation with visitors or colleagues? Talking starts with listening!

Conflict management

Jan realizes well that it is not easy to enter into a real conversation, it takes courage. Especially when it comes to a hierarchical relationship. “A lot of employees find it very difficult, and that’s understandable, of course.” But according to Jan, it should not be necessary. “There must be a culture in an organization where everyone dares to approach each other regardless of position. As a leader, you have an exemplary role in that. ” In addition, Jan argues for appointing and educating someone who can act as a kind of confidant, a conflict pilot. “Sometimes you can not figure it out together, but then it is not immediately necessary to take the matter. You can also solve it internally. It is actually preferable. In the end, no one wants to hand it over to a third party. “Jan stresses that this conflict pilot needs to be trained for this.” Dealing with a conflict is a profession. It requires insight into the conflict and the parties involved. Emotions are also often involved, so knowledge of the psychology behind it is very useful. ” In the book, therefore, the authors thoroughly consider the origin of a conflict, the significance of emotions and the phases of the conflict. “This is an important part of conflict management, if you are aware enough of this, you can already make a lot of profits.” in the three ego positions parent, adult and child in Transactional Analysis that we can respond to, which helps to communicate more effectively.Also mentioned are the five main forms of conflict styles that avoid, adapt, negotiate, collaborate and force Thomas and Killman, and what happens when you go after your own interests or the interests of others.The function of the brain is also described on the basis of the human, mammalian and reptile brain.In addition, employment services are discussed in more detail.

open culture

Being conflict-ridden at work requires attention and costs time, but also money. When you compare it to the cost of legally fighting a conflict, the calculation, according to Jan, is quickly made. “It really pays to invest in it. This, of course, avoids the cost of a lawsuit, and also reduces sick leave. 80% of this is not medically related, so you can imagine that you can make money on this. In addition, productivity also increases in a culture where everyone dares to talk to each other. ” For Jan, it is a pure task for the management. “If you sweep the stairs, you also start at the top. So create an open culture like leadership and invest in a conflict warehouse. Make sure employees do not start talking to each other but start talking to each other. If there are really no other options, you can always use mediation or a lawyer. But make sure you have done everything you can. ” So what the authors really want is for the book to prevent you from sitting at their table.

Do you know more? Order the book ‘Conflict at work’


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