Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Katz to Present Workshop on Conflict Resolution

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Katz to Present Workshop on Conflict Resolution

Article excerpt

Nasty, drawn-out conflicts in the workplace are not only emotionally draining, but also drain money from the business in several ways.

According to Neil Katz, unmanaged employee conflict is perhaps the largest reducible cost in organizations today, and probably the least recognized.Katz serves as director of training and organizational development for the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is also president of Neil Katz & Associates, based in Syracuse, N.Y., which has trained government, business, education and ministry groups to master the art of resolving conflict.

Analysts have estimated that more than 65 percent of performance problems are the result of strained relationships between employees rather than lack of skill or motivation in an individual employee. Authors Carol Watson and Richard Hoffman published their report Managers as Negotiators in 1996, which revealed that 42 percent of managers time is spent reaching agreements with others to resolve conflicts.

The Dana Mediation Institute, located in Prairie Village, Kan., has compiled various studies on the matter and put together a worksheet to help employers estimate the financial cost of organizational conflict.

Such costs go far beyond the loss of payroll hours spent on dealing with the conflict. Add to that the cost of bad decisions made by employees who dont communicate, or who are competing with one another. Inefficiencies in the work flow are created when key employees seek to avoid interaction with one another.

Unresolved conflict often costs employers their most skilled employees. …

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