Attending to Conflict

It’s no secret that the legal profession is one of the least happy, with high levels of stress and burnout quite common. So recently I asked a senior partner from a major Sydney law firm why she thought this was the case. Without knowing what I did for a living, she blew me away by forcefully uttering one word. Conflict!  Spending each day embroiled in conflict was what caused the burnout.

However, it’s not just the legal profession that suffers. Stress is reaching epidemic proportions in our workplaces (costing over $17 billion a year according to a recent Medibank Private Study) and the proliferation of conflict is a significant factor. Absenteeism is clearly affected as well, costing Australian workplaces another $6.4 billion a year.

Fortunately, we can do something about it. It may not be quick and easy, but it’s hard to imagine more worthwhile work. Effective conflict management delivers a huge payoff because it allows us to redirect our attention to the work at hand.

So be kind to the bottom line and start combating the culture of the Cranky Corporation now, before your people become burnt out shells of their former selves and stop producing what you need them to produce.