British Council-Managing conflict

British Council-Managing conflict

British Council-Managing conflict


Transcript of the podcast

Mike: Ok, Craig and Gavin, I realise that there have been some problems between you recently, and I’d like to try and sort them out right now. Gavin, can you tell me why you think this problem has arisen now

Gavin: You’re asking me!? I really have no idea. I mean I came into this job a year ago with a special project to do…I had a very positive attitude, I was excited about it, and Craig’s just blocked me all along

!Craig: Well that’s not fair at all, that’s just not true

…Mike: Ok, Ok, one second. Can everyone speak one at a time, please! Gavin, go on

Gavin: Well, that’s about it really. I’ve never felt as if I’ve been welcomed here. I mean, when I walk in to the office, the others don’t even say hello to me

!!Craig: That’s just not true!!! It’s you who doesn’t say hello

?Mike: Craig, please! Gavin, can you tell me why you think this situation may have arisen

Gavin: Well, as I said, I’ve really no idea. Perhaps it’s just my style – I’m very positive, energetic and outgoing, while everyone else here seems to be half-asleep

Mike: Erm, listen, I don’t think that personal, judgmental comments like that help. Can we just stick to facts rather than opinions

Gavin: Ok, well, I could see right away that some changes needed making here, so I set about making those changes

?Mike: And was that part of your job description

Gavin: Job description! Job description! That’s all I ever hear round here…that’s the problem with this place…there’s no initiative, no energy

?Mike: Hmm, Ok, Craig, would you like to tell us what you feel the problem is

!Craig: Well, I think it’s quite clear isn’t it? Him! That’s it

Mike: Ok, as I said, can we keep away from personal comments here, and stick to talking about the workplace

Craig: Well, I am talking about the workplace! He doesn’t respect the limits of what he’s supposed to do…He came in here for a one-year project, but has then tried to change the way everyone else works as well

?Mike: Gavin? Can you respond to that

Gavin: Well, my project involved everyone else. It was impossible to do what I had to do without getting other people to rethink the way they work

Mike: OK, I think that personality issues are crucial here

Gavin/Craig: (murmurs of agreement)

Mike: Personality issues are the most difficult thing to change. Perhaps we’ll never be able resolve them. You are different people with different personalities and different ways of working

?Gavin: And so

Mike: Well, that doesn’t mean the problem can’t be solved. We have to be flexible, accept change and be tolerant of difference

!!Craig: Easy to say

Mike: Well, yes, it is easy to say…but difficult to do! I don’t deny that. However, what we need to do is review your project, and look at everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the project and in this organisation as a whole. If everyone sticks to and respects other people’s roles and responsibilities, then we can at least settle on a good, constructive working atmosphere


N1.a / N2.b / N3.b

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