What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is concerned with effectively managing conflict in the workplace.

The first step in managing conflict is to analyse the nature and type of conflict. Then you need to gain a general understanding of the conflict in order to select the most appropriate strategy. This will help to move the situation towards consensus.

The Importance of Conflict Resolution

Everyone in your childcare organisation and every employee is affected by a conflict in the workplace. Other employees will feel uncomfortable and on edge in the presence of the antagonists. This contributes to the creation of a hostile working environment and has the potential to divide your workplace as people feel forced to take sides. Early resolution of conflict is particularly important in the Early Years sector as a hostile environment is unacceptable for children.

How to Mediate and Resolve Conflict

Mediating a conflict is challenging but is part of the role of a manager or supervisor.

In some cases, mediation can be your first step or can even resolve the issue without a need for further intervention or action.

  1. Meet with the antagonists together. Let each briefly summarise their point of view, without comment or interruption by the other party. This should be a short discussion so that all parties are clear about the disagreement and conflicting views. Intervene if either employee attacks the other employee. This is not acceptable.
  2. Ask each employee to describe specific actions they would like to see the other party take that would resolve the differences.
  3. All participants must then discuss and commit to make the changes necessary to resolve the conflict
  4. Finally, assure both parties that you have every faith in their ability to resolve their differences and get on with their successful contributions within your childcare organisation. Set a time to review progress.

Common Pitfalls

Do not avoid the conflict, hoping it will go away. This is the single most important tip to successfully resolve conflicts: Do it now! It’s very tempting to wait for a conflict to blow over by itself, but it rarely does - in most cases it only gets worse with time.

Do not meet separately with people in conflict. If you allow each individual to tell their story to you, you risk polarizing their positions. The sole goal of the employee, in this situation, is to convince you of the merits of their case. Bring the parties to the conflict together and allow them to agree on a common solution.

As well as mediation, facilitation, conducting interventions and providing communication workshops we will help you draft and develop your working protocols and policy documents.