Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
October 17, 2011

Who Needs to Learn More About Conflict?

Do you know what pushes your buttons? Have you been ignited to the point of annoyance, frustration or anger? Do you know what to do about these situations?

Conflict Resolution Simplified,” Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the PRSA 2011 International Conference, will address a five-step model to explore what pushes your buttons, and why.

Here’s a little snippet of information to give you background on how prominent this problem is in the workplace.

Sadly, the vast majority of workplace settings are rife with chronic tension that is well beyond just an occasional difficult day or week. Research shows that team leaders and executives spend over half their time resolving “staff personality conflicts,” about double the time spent during the 1990s. A whopping 93 percent of employees report being negatively affected by an inability to deal with conflict on the job, and 68 percent avoid confronting co-workers on issues of accountability. Most employees feel their immediate supervisor is not very helpful in resolving conflicts.

Statistics in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine indicate that health care expenditures are about 50 percent higher for workers reporting high stress levels.  And many studies show that stress is created by a conflict-ridden work environment.

These few highlights from a plethora of research on the subject of stress and conflict in the workplace clearly demonstrate employees, supervisors and key leaders need to be more versed and trained on the subject to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

Organizations today, large and small, are focused on saving money and increasing productivity. When conflict is not handled and stress soars, the costly results are the spine-shivering words of “harassment suits,” “wrongful termination suits” or high costs due to employee turnover, absenteeism or lack of productivity.

In “Conflict Resolution Simplified,” we’ll explore more about what pushes your buttons and what to do about it, in an easy-to-follow format. See you in Orlando!!!

Mary Jane Saras, LCSW, is vice president for Leadership Development for Creative Energy Options, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to redefining leadership and optimizing workplace relationships. Saras provides workshops and programs on leadership development, conflict resolution, communication skills and team building.

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