Conflict Management in the workplace

There are many causes of workplace conflict & there are few organisations that do not experience this at some time or other.

Causes include poor management, individual anger management problems, stress possibly due to a bad working environment or problems at home this list is not exhaustive.

Below is an example of the tragic consequences of stress/conflict in the workplace not being addressed.

Teacher arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
Pupil allegedly hit with a dumbbell.

Teacher Peter Harvey not guilty over dumbbell assault on pupil
A teacher who beat a boy’s head with a dumbbell while shouting “die, die, die” walked free from court yesterday after being cleared of attempted murder because he was mentally unwell and had been tormented by the pupil.
In a case that raised doubts about whether there was sufficient help available for stressed teachers struggling with disruptive children, Peter Harvey, 50, was cleared after the jury deliberated for little more than an hour. He was also cleared of grievous bodily harm with intent.
You can read the full story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jul/09/teacher-arrested-mansfield
Peter Harvey did not go into work on that particular day with the intention of attacking a pupil with a set of dumbbells that would be totally illogical, but when adrenalin kicks in logic goes out the window.
For an assault such as this to take place a person first needs to be triggered
Road rage is a good example of this the trigger normally being someone cutting you up.
This sends a message to the brain that danger is imminent and chemicals are released at the speed of Concorde as we enter into the flight or fight mode.
Peter Harvey did not need to be triggered on that particular day he was already triggered from previous encounters with certain pupils who had been constantly baiting him and he was entering the next stage on the “Assault Cycle” Escalation which led to the Crisis stage where the attack took place.
Could Conflict Resolution/Management training have prevent this
One of the elements contained in conflict resolution training is Non verbal communication, we can-not not communicate identifying the early Warning and Danger signs are the key to prevention in cases such as this.
Stress is a major contributor to conflict and conflict increases at particular times of the year.
We have just got to the end of another year and listening to the news as I was writing this article I was saddened to hear that there had been at least one death each and every day through the festive session in the UK alone that was caused through some kind of conflict.
The world would be a better/safer place to live if conflict was identified (in others & self) and dealt with in the early stages and this can only be achieved with training.
Brooks Jordan work with schools throughout the UK to provide Conflict Resolution to teenagers to prepare them for the challengers they will encounter as they move into the adult world and we wonder is it not now the time to have this training as part of the national curriculum .

For information about the training provided by Brooks Jordan please go to: www.brooksjordan.co.uk

Or contact Chris email address: chris@brooksjordan.co.uk or telephone on 01623 407793

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