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Conflict Coach

Small businesses face unique challenges, and there are unique dispute resolution systems for resolving those disputes.
by

Clare Fowler

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of Conflict Coach

Small Businesses

Challenges
--Resources
--Time
--Easier to
stay the same Benefits
--more flexible Conflict Informal:
~Negotiation
~Avoidance
~Gossip
~Quit

Formal:
~Mediation
~Arbitration
~Litigation

System Design
Smorgasbord Workplace Conflict Coach Ombuds
Consultant
Coach
Trainer
Systems Design
Manager
Expert
Mediator
Employee Relations
Grievances
Friend of the Business
Benefits

Resistance


Who Are You? Next Steps

Workplace Employee's fault or
Employer's fault?
IR or HR?
Or could some be
inevitable?
-- Realistic Conflict
--Social Identity
--Escalation Ayoko (Ayoko, Callan, & Hartel, 2003) notes the effect that escalated conflict has on the workplace. Not only does it become more extreme but it also becomes more frequent.

In other words, as conflict gets worse, it begins to disrupt work more often and for longer periods of time. When a conflict initially erupted, employees had to deal with it about once every two weeks. Quickly, though, they had to deal with it on a daily basis. The average conflict in their office lasted between six and nine months. The loss in income and productivity is 20% to 50%

The damage to small businesses is that one in every four employees who are bullied leave their jobs (Rayner, 1998). turnover costs 150% due to retraining downtime Workplace Conflict History

Quick Example
1900-1930: Robots/IR
1930-1950: Resources/HR
1950-1990: Investments
2000: Systemic approach 3: Resolution 1: Prevention

2: Identification



Internal
Subject: might need help
Process: might need help
Power: needs help
External: probably no help
Systemic: design help Money, Time, & Morale

Money: Slaikeu (1998) says that the main result of conflict to a business is the loss of money. Loss in income and productivity while an employee is in conflict is between 20 – 50% of the norm.

Time: In 2005, Weeks conducted the “Proudfoot Productivity Report.” This report found that salespeople are spending 79% of their time doing something other than sales. One of the largest components of this non-value added time was resolving problems. One of the first signs of an escalated conflict is the loss of job productivity, then absenteeism.

Morale: Myers (2005) says that 96% of those in a work-related conflict reported discussing the results of the conflict with neutral outsiders. When vendors, customers, and investors learn that a company is having conflict they will find another company to work with. Money, Time, & Morale
Money: “I have no extra money! I don’t have money to advertise and I need to hear an office manager.”
Time: “I have no time! The whole business is on my shoulders and I’m putting in probably 70 hours a week.”
Morale
Employers are afraid that some conflicts are too embarrassing, too difficult to bring up, too painful and will never go away.
I define conflict as resolution as moving a disagreement from a destructive to a peaceful stage. Some of these won’t go away, and it is important for small business owners to be aware of that. Money, Time, & Morale

Money:
~Brown & Root (formerly Kellogg, Brown & Root) reported an 80% reduction in outside litigation fees in the first year. ~Motorola reported a 75% savings in outside litigation expenses over 6 years.
~NCR reported a drop in pending lawsuits from 263 to 28 over a seven-year span.
~The Air Force estimated a 50% savings per claim in a study of 100 equal employment complaints when they used mediation (Slaikeu, 1998).
~25% of employees who are bullied leave their jobs. When an employee decides to leave it costs the company approximately 150% of that person’s salary—due to time spent on conflict, firing, hiring, retraining. A conflict resolution process typically costs 75% of one person's salary.
Slaikeu (1998) estimates that if companies~ were to have a more developed ADR process, they would see a reduction in legal fees of 50-80% Companies Have Conflict
Conflicts (can) Hurt Companies
Conflict Coaches Help

You have a unique gift that
companies are waiting for! “Small business ownership is really one never-ending exercise in problem solving,” (Tyson & Schell, 2008, p.5). There is no “cookie-cutter solution to all disputes” (Stitt, 1998, p.9). 5 - 50 employees
< $10 million
Based in US

But how many are there? “The impact of our human lives on our work lives is grossly underestimated,” says Clifford (2006, p. 105). Collaborative Conflict Coaches:
“Success proceeds from a synergistic combination of intellect and emotion, honesty and empathy, reason and intuition, head and heart, and a willingness to integrate and let each guide the other,” (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005, p. xv). Realistic – Doer, practical, physical, hands-on, tool-oriented:
A) Consultant, Arbitrator, Judge, Judicial Expert
B) Determined, Frank Investigative – Thinker, analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative:
A) Ombuds, Investigator, Union Rep, systems analyst, cross-cultural
B) Intellectual, Scholarly
Artistic – Creator, creative, original, independent, chaotic:
A) Friend of the Business, Mediator, Create handbooks, conduct seminars, Inspirational Speaker
B) Original, Independent, Expressive Social – Helper, cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing:
A) Therapist, Coach, Employee Relations, Social Worker, Teaching sessions, Counselor
B) Helpful, Informative, Intuitive, Excellent at Interacting with people in multiple situations
Enterprising – Persuader, competitive environments, leadership, persuading:
A) Systems Design, Start a business, Trainer, Public Policy, Lobbyist, Speech, Lawyer
B) Adventurous, Sociable, Persuasive, Energetic, Ambitious Conventional - detail-oriented, organizing, clerical:
A) Grievances, HR, Expert, Conflict Examiner, Firm Manager
B) Conscientious, Structured, Detail-Oriented
Importance
~Employ 90% of American workers,
~99.7% of firms are small businesses,
~Generated 64%
of net new jobs over
the last 15 years Time:
~In 1997, the Ontario Attorney General assessed cases that were mediated through the courts and compared them to cases that were litigated. The result was that twice as many cases resolved that were mediated than cases that were attempted to be resolved through other means. Also, of all the cases that were resolved, those that were mediated settled in approximately half the time (Stitt, 1998). ~Unresolved conflict typically begins at once every two weeks, to dealing with it every day. Conflict that wasn’t resolved using an ADR process lasted 6-9 months.
~A Chorda study showed that after introducing an ADR system, the Army Corps of Engineers completed the project 114 days ahead of schedule and $12 million under budget.
~The EEOC interviewed its disputants and found that instead of filing a formal dispute, 67% would have withdrawn their dispute or lessened their charge if they would have received an apology or concession in a mediation (Fox & Stallworth, 2006). Morale:
~Uncertainty Reduction Theory.
People dislike uncertainty and so they try to reduce uncertainty through verbal communication. This means that people desire to communicate about something, and so a conflict resolution process that increases communication is likely to be consistent with people’s natural desires (Solomon, 2008).
~Lewin (2001): the amount of grievances a person files directly relates to their view of the quality of the product or services. As satisfaction and pride and quality of a product or service increases, grievances decrease. Happy companies have less conflict and better products.
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