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Seven Factors:  Contributions to On-Going Conflict

Why some conflict is resolved easily while other situations continue?

1. Unwillingness to Resolve

If someone has a grudge they might prefer to maintain the conflict just to annoy the other person.  Alternatively, if the other person is their senior or has more power, they may feel that they will lose something when a solution is found.

2. Payoffs

We refer to a payoff when someone gains something from keeping the conflict going, such as entertainment value.   This may indicate the presence of a workplace psychopath in your office.

3. Poor Communication

Failure to communicate effectively can prevent stakeholders from understanding each other, or make them defensive and unwilling to attempt to solve the problem.  Communicating effectively will make a major contribution to the success of conflict resolution.

4. The Real Cause Not Being Addressed

Red herrings are used to throw stakeholders off identifying the underlying causes.  People will address side issues that may be easier to talk about rather than the real issue which may be too uncomfortable for them to address.



5. Unsatisfactory Solution

Sometimes the solution that is reached is satisfactory to some stakeholders but not to others.  In some cases a solution is imposed on those involved and is not welcomed by all parties.  The solution will therefore be temporary.  The real conflict has not been addressed, and is likely to reappear – possibly in a new form.

6. Emotions not Being Handled

Negative emotions and feelings are often a sign of conflict.  If feelings of frustration, fear and anger not acknowledged, these emotions are likely to grow.  Acknowledging each other’s emotions can help us communicate openly and to identify the real reason for the conflict.  Ignoring these feelings is unlikely to lead to an effective and lasting solution.

7. Lack of Confidence

It is quite common for people to avoid confronting an issue because they doubt their ability to be able to handle it effectively.  Sometimes this results from an unsuccessful attempt to resolve a conflict in the past.  Eighty percent of Australians would rather avoid conflict.  For many people, the lack of confidence comes from lack of skills and knowledge about how to resolve a conflict.

Workplace Mediation training

In January 2015 iHR Australia will launch its new Workplace Mediation Skills training  to complement its established Workplace Mediation services. In this new program, iHR's facilitator and expert Senior Workplace Relations Advisor will guide participants through the key principles of conducting an effective workplace mediation, focusing on best practice process and the skills required of an effective mediator. Participants will observe our unique Workplace Reality Theatre where the facilitator and our actors will re-enact relevant and engaging scenarios from real-life mediations for group discussions. Participants will conduct a basic two-party mediation and receive useful feedback from their disputants and our facilitator, in addition to reflecting on their own performance.

The program can be run in house and tailored to your organisation need. The program is also being offered publically.

Dates and locations

Melbourne 24 Feb 29 April 17 June

Sydney 17 Feb 21 April 9 June

Brisbane 10 Feb 25 March 2 June

Perth 10 March 12 May

Adelaide 5 March 5 May

Canberra 16 March 21 May

Workplace Mediation overview

Workplace mediation is a dispute resolution technique used to assist parties to resolve issues and achieve an ongoing workable relationship. Mediation is a confidential and structured process in which an independent and impartial third party facilitates discussion between the various individuals involved. Mediation is more cost effective and a less time consuming process than formal proceedings and in many cases can resolve disputes before parties feel the need to consider litigation. The process is confidential and limited to the immediate parties involved and therefore limits involvement and disruption to the wider workgroup. Successful mediation can enhance and assist your organisation to stabilise ongoing internal and external working relationships and achieve better outcomes for parties involved.  

For more information on Workplace Mediation call iHR Australia on 1300 884 687.


Melbourne Office : 
Suite 11, 828 High Street Kew East Victoria 3102
Sydney Office :
Level 34 AMP Tower, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000

Bangkok Office :

88 Paso Tower 14th Floor Unit A1 Silom Road , Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500

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