Conflicts within a team have repercussions not only for its members’ well-being, but also for the achievement of work objectives, resulting in loss of efficiency, lack of collaboration, absenteeism, damage to the team’s reputation, etc.
Very often in the Ombud’s Office, I hear the word “want” rather than “need”. “I want an apology from her”, “I want the guy to be fired”, “I want to be taken off this project NOW”, or even “I want you to resolve this issue for me”.
Jane* is a discreet administrative assistant who has worked for the same group leader for more than ten years. She has an administrative secretarial background, knows all the ins and outs of CERN administration very well, and has built up a strong network within the Organization.
In prehistoric times, there were only two ways to resolve a conflict: fight or flight. And there was always a winner and a loser. Then, one day, someone discovered a revolutionary new approach: negotiation, or aiming to find a solution that satisfies the interests of both parties.
Sam* has been working in his position for many years. During his annual interviews with his group leader Jerry*, he was always told that his job performance was satisfactory, and no criticism was raised. Sam really appreciated Jerry’s fairness and was happy to work with him.