How much time is wasted in businesses all over the world, due to conflict, misunderstanding and unmet needs?

More importantly how much of your personal time, your team and your business’ time is being wasted?

According to CIPD, 25% of a manager’s time is wasted to unwarranted conflict – misunderstanding, poor communications, lack of trust – which is over a day per week, per manager of wasted time and salary! Add in the knock-on effect that misunderstanding has in the teams and it all leads to a huge waste in time and salaries, missed opportunities, low employee engagement, poor performance, reduced customer service and losses in potential profit.

Sadly, middle managers often get the blame, primarily because they are so important to the business and are often stressed, poorly resourced and inexperienced in dealing with people and people needs. There is a well-publicised figure that states poor Middle Managers cost the UK £220BN per year.

Ask groups ‘is there any conflict at work’, and the answer is often ‘no’. Ask team members about whether they feel valued, appreciated, understood or trusted and the answers are often ‘no, not really’, ‘of course not’, ‘not enough’, ‘my boss doesn’t care’, ‘it’s ok, not great…’ and so on. In other words, there are unmet needs and this is what we mean by conflict. Whether expressed or not, unmet needs causes conflict and conflict costs people, business and the country millions – if not billions- of pounds every year.

Conflict does not mean World War lll, the definition of conflict in this instance is ‘unmet needs’; I don’t feel listened to, no one understands me, my skills aren’t appreciated, my boss doesn’t value me, and so on. And these can be dealt with. You have heard that people join companies and leave managers; its true!

What about Conflict with clients? We can have misunderstanding and unmet needs or broken expectations with our customers and clients, which can lead to conflict. Personally, I think one of the quick ways to conflict, is negating peoples values, thus a quick way to creating rewarding relationships and improved well-being, performance and productivity is to check out peoples values and be respectful of them. You may have heard of the term ‘motivational value system’, our motivational value system is just that. Tap into it and we feel great! Trample all over it, and we are in conflict. 

There are schools of thought that suggest some conflict is useful, even necessary, and that may be true. Conflicts which are understood, well managed, talked through and actioned appropriately, can indeed prove useful, though there may be a personal cost in the process.

Let’s look at it another way, for now, Smoking Kills. Yet we all know some one who smoked 100 cigarettes a day and lived to be 90 years old! Smoking still remains a massive risk to our health, as does unwarranted conflict to our personal and business well-being.

We can help you to understand and resolve conflict, reduce this waste, cost and missed opportunities, and guarantee to save you time and money, whilst helping you create a culture of high performance.

To understand, reduce and manage conflict – guaranteed – call me.

PJ Stevens