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NEWS | March 14, 2019

Another CAT Resource: Conflict Resolution

By Tech. Sgt. Brian Corbin, NCOIC 628th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity Office

Is your co-worker getting on your nerves? Do you come to work each day hoping for an assignment just to get away from them? If so, it sounds like you may be experiencing a workplace conflict.

According to the Air Force Negotiation Center, when managed properly, conflict can result in innovation, increased performance, team building and increased self-esteem. Conversely, without conflict, organizations are at risk for remaining stagnant and failing to reach their highest potential. In other words, conflict is not always a bad thing.

Many individuals believe they are fully capable of handling conflict. However, due to our biases, self-perspective, or emotions, we may look at the conflict from a subjective lens. Handling conflict in this manner could lead to a negative outcome or escalate it further. With that in mind, personnel should utilize resources available to them to aid in resolution.

As always, the chain of command remains a viable option for conflict resolution and resolving matters at the lowest level. However, members can also contact the Joint Base Charleston Equal Opportunity and Alternative Dispute Resolution office, a helping agency under the Community Action Team. The EO & ADR office offers the following services to assist with conflict resolution:

Mediation (Civilians Only): A structured process in which parties seek the assistance of a qualified mediator to help them in resolving their issue in controversy. The primary attributes of mediation are a structured process, the use of interest based negotiation techniques and the use of separate and confidential caucuses between each party and the mediator.

Facilitation (Civilian or Military): An unstructured and flexible process in which a trained third party neutral assists parties in resolving issues in disputes by utilizing interest based negotiation techniques.

Peer Review Panel (Civilians Only): The Peer Review Panel is a problem-solving process where an employee takes a dispute to a group or panel of fellow employees and managers for a decision. The peer-review panel at JBC is available to bargaining unit employees only in lieu of a Step 3 action in the negotiated grievance process.

The intent behind the ADR program is for all parties to reach an agreement that resolves their concerns, allowing them to refocus their attention to the mission. Each participant can walk away from the table knowing that they played a role in establishing the terms to their agreement, which also makes them more likely to follow through on the execution. To learn more about dispute resolution, please call the EO & ADR office at 963-3662. Additionally, don’t hesitate to utilize your “We Care Link” on your computer desktop to get additional information and resources available from your CAT agencies.