Calling all HR and line managers - Developing your workforce


Should workforce development include relationship conflict resolution, if so, how can it be implemented? A question posed from our Power of listening workshop at the Share HR Conference.


Yes! I’ve long believed that counselling skills, including active listening as a basis along with the core conditions of a person-centred approach, should be a pre-requisite for managers across all sectors. I’ve developed an outline for a pilot project and one day, if I can secure funding, I’ll make it happen!


That’s great Gwen. There maybe an option to share your ideas with other members as it may have spin offs for others or even opportunities to gain support for the funding particularly addresses a gap or need for managers. Good luck.


In response to the question posed by the power of listening workshop, I strongly hope that we do. My preference is to live in a world where we ‘share power’ in all aspects of life. I recently witnessed a situation where concerns among staff were not raised and the result was a dismissal in the ‘harshest’ of ways. When this kind of conflict happens within a team it can have devastating effects, not only on the individual also the team and the whole organisation. Rupture can take time to heal and business can be affected as the undercurrents continue to ripple. If trust is broken people can become suspicious therefore changing their behaviour to suit the ‘power over’ dynamic for fear of losing their jobs. My curiosity at the moment is what can we do when people within the team are not willing to engage in a reconciliation process? I mourn that we are so far away from trusting enough to engage in dialogue when conflict arises. I’ve had experiences of conflict resolution so I know it’s possible. I also think it can be simple when we keep coming back to the needs that we are trying to meet when we behave in the ways we do that might upset others. It brings understanding and compassion to situations and from there we can make decisions that are a win win. For me empathy is the most effective tool in conflict resolution. In my experience I think it’s more valuable to initially have a 3rd party supporting the process until people are able to confidently hold this themselves. I’m so curious what other people think of what I’ve shared here. I would love to hear your thoughts. I have so much more to learn and share on this topic and as I’m currently reading Frederic Laloux book Reinventing Organisations I’d welcome the opportunity to contribute another blog on this topic.


Hi Jayne you pose some interesting points in your response in relation to the effects of conflict and its management on the workforce and the business. If you add the wider relationship context the ripple effect of this scenario outside of the workplace and into social and family environments highlights the real costs to society. Your recent experience I believe reinforces the need for a more holistic approach to workforce development. In respect of blogging the SCCR welcomes any relevant contributions just contact Caroline at


Hi Duncan. I’m enjoying that you’re further expanding on the ripple effects by naming the effects ‘outside of the workplace and into social and family environments highlights the real costs to society’. Yes, conflict anywhere has wider consequences. Thank you for the feedback. Feedback is another way to nourish our systems and reduce conflict.