Managing Conflict in the Workplace

We continue our series of reports based on the ongoing Learning4Managers Survey: Learning Competencies for Supervisors and Managers.

Year after year we hear about the increase of bullying behaviors and conflict in the workplace. Still few managers receive any formal training on the managing conflict in the workplace.

The survey results show that only 13% of responding managers learned how to deal with conflict as part of their formal education. The same number learned to deal with conflict while employed at their current job. Does this make you wonder if companies assume that experienced managers should come with this skill as part of their portfolio? To participate on our ongoing confidential survey please follow this link: SURVEY

Most managers told us they learned conflict management skills at their previous job (39%), and almost as many told us they were self-taught (34.7%). Once again, we emphasize that there is little evidence of a formal training process at stake here. As a matter of fact, with so few managers receiving formal training in school in this subject matter, it is hard to believe there is any standardized training taking place.

The results imply that managers today are approaching the matter in the same way managers have done for years: doing the best they can without formal support, training, or standard methods. This approach can lead to serious problems at work. With nothing but anecdotal information to go by, managers may be unknowingly fostering or ignoring ongoing conflict which could escalate into bullying or violence.

We strongly suggest that you take a look at your management practices and establish not just policies and procedures to prevent conflict at work, but develop training that supports you and your staff on how to manage conflict in healthy ways. In a few weeks, after we complete our series of reports on our managers survey results, we’ll address some best practices you can implement to manage conflict and train your staff.

Contact us for assistance and training on how to manage conflict in healthy ways at work.

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