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  • Gerry Preciado

Conflict is Universal but Arbitration is Not the Only Option

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

As a newly minted attorney I sat in my office staring down at my copious notes. I had worked countless days and nights to prep this case. While my own invested time in this arbitration seemed endless, it paled in comparison to the events, feelings and years that had led to this contentious and costly situation. What had begun as merely a workplace difference of opinion had escalated over time.

Over the last 25 years I have seen these seemingly small disagreements and differences become entrenched long-term conflict. One wronged party accuses the other of an orchestrated effort to undermine and sabotage them, colleagues take sides, and the workplace culture descends into gossip, uncivil communication, and dysfunction. Even the most talented and committed of teams can be plagued by conflict. In the United States last year, over 65,000 employment discrimination lawsuits were filed and most of us weren't even working in the same environment as our co-workers for much of the year.*

Conflict is universal. As long as people work together, conflict is inevitable. On average, an employee is involved in conflict approximately 2.8 hours each week. That adds up to $359 billion in paid hours or 385 million working days. (based upon $17.95/hr)* Conflict can be the catalyst for change and advancement but when harmful conflict occurs a wedge is driven into the relationship. Left unattended even the smallest of wedges can lead to the absolute destruction of an individual or team relationships. When wedges are effectively identified and removed, the relationship becomes one that is effective, productive and fulfilling. Many times, given the nature of the conflict, the parties involved, the political complications, or the history of the situation, it may be difficult to address the situation. By utilizing an outside consultant with expertise in conflict resolution these matters can be more effectively moved toward long-term sustained positive change.

Wedge removal is a process that the 34th Street team has developed and refined for years. Using our Wedge Removal Formula™ and other proprietary approaches, we help leadership, teams, and individuals understand the importance of behavioral expectations and ensure accountability of all employees within the structure created. We develop a training and team building education session tailored to those involved in the situation. We facilitate individual wedge removal sessions. These individual sessions are often needed to allow the healing process to begin and the employees the opportunity to effectively adhere to the newly established behavioral expectations.

Workplace relationships can be good again. You and your team are entitled to a workplace free of bullying and unprofessional conduct. Our solutions provide accountability and create a culture where employees at all levels know they are valued.

Relationships can be productive and rewarding again.

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