Meet Leslie Kleiman, who manages the Lab’s Conflict Resolution Services Program. The program supports the prompt and productive resolution of any problems relating to the workplace using a variety of services, including mediation, facilitated conversation, conflict coaching, and other resources.
What are some of the most common types of conflicts you resolve?
Distilled to their essence, most conflicts result from a sense that one is not respected, heard, or valued and unable or powerless to address the situation. It’s hard for us to feel respect for someone when we don’t feel respected by that person. That lack of respect can play out as poor communication, a desire to avoid someone, triangulation within teams, withholding of necessary information, or outright hostility.
How should employees determine when it’s time to access your services?
Each person has a different tolerance for conflict or lack of cohesion. If you feel conflict is negatively impacting your ability to work effectively, respectfully, or cooperatively with someone, I think that is a good indication. If we’re willing to engage in some introspection, I believe we know in our hearts when a conflict has reached the point when it’s time to ask for help.
How do you measure success with regard to conflict resolution?
Truthfully, I can feel when there’s a shift in the energy in the room. People will feel better about each other and more optimistic about the situation and they also feel more confident in their ability to talk through issues in the future. Often, participants will make agreements about how to function differently going forward and can use those agreements as touchstones or reminders of their commitments to each other.
During the Lab shutdown, Kleiman and the Conflict Resolution Program are offering services remotely via phone and Zoom conferencing. Submit a request here for assistance.