Wherever people work together conflict will arise. Unaddressed conflict has the potential to destroy teams, dramatically reduce productivity, damage relationships, depress creativity and can lead to high stress, burn out and other health problems.
Given the serious potential consequences of unaddressed conflict in the workplace, it is astonishing that -more often than not-, conflict in work environments is swept under the rug. To be clear, not every little conflict requires an intervention. The kinds of conflict that need to be addressed are those that:
- Impact the performance of teams, processes, the mission or the company as a whole.
- Are ongoing lower level conflicts that affect the morale of teams.
- Is any conflict that touches up-on, or violates basic norms, values or the reputation of the organization or the rights of individuals or groups.
Allowing these conflicts to go unaddressed will ultimately alter the culture of the organization in often unexpected and harmful ways. Once the organization has acquired a reputation that is incongruent with its stated values and goals it becomes much harder to attract talent and outside partners that fit the original organizational profile, and even harder to roll back the newly acquired culture and reputation.
Why hire a Mediator?
Prolonged conflict often leads to a loss of trust and high levels of suspicion about the motives of co-workers or superiors. Organizational outcomes tend to be the sum of all successful and unsuccessful interactions of the members of the organization. Unaddressed conflict tilts the sum of these interactions toward negative outcomes. In these situations, it is helpful to engage an outside, neutral conflict-manager.
The incoming mediator’s first task is always to try to reduce the distrust that is projected on him or her as well, just by virtue of being hired by someone “in charge”. A well-trained and culturally competent mediator is generally able, through a well-designed process, to overcome this first obstacle to success.
Based on having established his/her credentials as a true “neutral”, a sufficient level of trust can be developed to get to the bottom of the conflict and discover the true concerns and interests of all involved. Many workplace conflicts are based in differing perspectives on work processes, communication habits or management culture.
It is crucial that the conflict manager is in a position to take a dispassionate look at all the underlying causal elements of the conflict to be able to come to sustainable solutions. Within the context of reduced trust this is a tall order for anybody who is part of the company culture. This is where a well-trained, outside mediator comes in.
Why hire Dr. Raymond Ferrier as your Workplace Mediator?
As an experienced conflict and communication coach/ consultant, Raymond has developed a wide array of tools and processes to uncover, analyze and address the underlying causes of workplace conflict.
His training as a sociologist allows him to correctly place any conflict in its socio-cultural context in order to address the potential of further, future conflict around the same issues.
His deep knowledge of the neuro-physiological underpinnings and consequences of conflict give him a unique understanding of behavioral responses of people-in-conflict. In addition, his understanding of the bodily expressions that largely determine the outcomes of any communication, allow him to teach his clients new tools to create positive outcomes in their communication efforts.
As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, Raymond is trained to address complex conflict situations in a confidential and unbiased manner. He always adheres to the ethical rules put in place by the Florida Supreme Court.