Self Help ADR: Equipping Yourself in Conflict Resolution
I keep hearing that Alternative Dispute Resolution starts with “self-help”. What the heck does it mean?
“Self-help” means using your own abilities to manage conflicts informally and collaboratively.
Conflict is a healthy, normal part of work life because people are packages of differing priorities, expectations, assumptions, concerns, hopes, beliefs and values. Talking out our differences brings insight and improves understanding. This is the “good” product of conflict: growth, creativity and operational effectiveness.
If we don’t process our differences in healthy ways, we end up with “bad” products of conflict: gossip, blame, tension, resentment and fear. In our line of work, this is dangerous.
We’re all encouraged to attempt to resolve workplace conflicts whenever possible, early, locally, and informally (where appropriate). The more you do for yourself, the more control you retain over the outcome of a conflict. If you don’t deal with it, someone else may decide how to resolve it and you might not like the outcome. Here are some tips to get you started:
Be clear about your own priorities – what’s really important to you and why?
Be curious about others’ – what might they expect or assume and why might it be important to them?
Talk to trusted peers and CCMS staff to get coaching on your situation and how to best approach resolution.
Take courses through the DLN, the LCC and the CCMS in order to optimize your conflict intelligence and abilities, to raise and address issues and to collaborate respectfully with others.
Helping ourselves to manage conflict effectively is an important step in maintaining operational effectiveness and a healthy workplace culture.
*Defence Team members can connect with a Conflict and Complaint Management Service (CCMS) by agent by visiting a local CCMS office or calling toll-free at 1-833-328-3351, M-F between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. EST. Additional details related to CCMS services are available on the ICCM web page.