In the post on the basic conflict resolution steps for employees, we discussed the basic steps an employee can take to nip conflict in the bud before it is allowed to escalate. However, there will be some instances where these actions will not be sufficient. At that time, you have to decide do you want to continue to work on resolving the conflict or will you just decide to simply let it all go...? After all 'it takes two to tango'.
Before you make the decision to continue to work on resolving this conflict, there are certain factors that you should consider. Chief among them is the fact that from Level 2 onward on the conflict scale, it is highly likely that there will be a third-party involved in the conflict resolution at work. As such, it will no longer be a purely private matter. Depending on the conflict resolution systems that the employer has in place, there could even be a paper-trail of the matter. Of course, this may be offset by the increase in emotional distress that you are experiencing. Thus, it is helpful to take the time to consider the following six variables provided by The Foundation Coalition:
1. How invested are you in the relationship?
- Do you want to preserve the relationship with your colleague?
- Why? Because of work, personal, etc.
- Is the conflict about an issue that means a lot to you?
- Does it speak to your own personal values, or regulation that you feel must be enforced?
- We can't do it all. That is why we have to prioritize our time. Are you willing to fit this into what you already have to do?
- Sometimes we are so caught up in the affront to our value system, etc. (in #2 above) that you forget to think about a likely outcome to you continuing with the conflict resolution.
- Remember, at this level, it is highly likely that you will have to involve a third-party. How will this affect your job; your work with your colleagues; the prospect of you getting a reference in the future, etc.
- After reviewing your list of potential consequences, should you decide to proceed with conflict resolution then you must also be prepared to deal with your worst case scenario.
- As you know, level 2 on the workplace conflict scale is characterized by a large amount of emotional distress to the employee which may also affect job performance.
- Though you may seek alternative employment, the global economy is in recession and so it may be difficult for you to find another job.
- However, you also need to consider losing a sense of self and personal respect if you do not follow through on the things that are most important to you.
- As such, follow the rest of the steps outlined in the post on handling level 2 employee conflicts to increase the probability of a positive outcome to this matter.