Conflict Management Programs

Posted By on November 25th

procedure review

A thoughtful and comprehensive conflict management program, which is fair and easily understood, is the first step in an organization’s ability to effectively manage conflict. Conflict management programs establish procedures to follow for the purpose of managing and preventing conflict. These programs hold employees accountable for preventing and resolving conflict. These programs also provide for early intervention. Studies have shown that conflicts have been resolved through a conflict management program within 2-3 months and at a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional litigation.

Clear communication is the cornerstone of a conflict management program. Within a conflict management program, the purpose of communication is to inquire and understand, rather than advocate. Typically, a conflict can’t be truly resolved without understanding the individuals’ interests and needs.

Encouraging and assisting employees to develop skills to be able to work out conflict with each other is the first approach. The secondary approach is having a manager or outside mediator assist in resolving the conflict. The mediator can help employees determine needs and interests, get answers to questions, help gather and identify relevant facts, and identify and review solutions to find a mutually agreeable way to resolve the conflict. The mediation process is also completely confidential.

Goals of an effective Conflict Management program:

  • Improve relationships between employees by:
    • Improved communication between employees
    • Improved negotiations between employees
  • Improve management’s ability to recognize potential conflict
  • Improve management’s ability to discuss and manage conflict
  • Establish methods to reach agreements intended to resolve conflict
  • Establish methods for reporting conflict
  • Establish methods for disciplining employees who do not fulfill their obligations under Conflict Management programs

About the author

Keith Grossman helps individuals and businesses negotiate and manage conflict more comfortably. Keith is a Collaborative Attorney, a Family and Circuit Civil mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, an Arbitrator qualified by the Florida Supreme Court, and an educator. Keith frequently lectures and facilitates training programs, works with individuals one-on-one, and writes articles on conflict management and negotiation topics. His e-workbooks, “What Is A Peace Chest?” and “How Do You Build A Peace Chest?“ are now available on Kindle.


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