As colleagues work alongside one another, conflict in the workplace is oftentimes inevitable. Unresolved conflict can bring about heightened emotion, communal brokenness, and feelings of isolation and powerlessness. When conflicts are resolved, the process that brings about the resolution can also bring about deeper understanding, healing, and a strengthening of relationships.
CEBC advocates the use of a Biblical model for resolving conflicts that discourages adversarial approaches and, instead, directs us to strive toward amicable reconciliation and restoration of relationship. When disputes of any nature arise between members of the CEBC community, the aim is that parties be reconciled to one another in the context of a Christian understanding of what it means to live and work alongside one another in wholeness.
The following descriptions outline the steps CEBC adheres to in the conflict resolution process:
1. Dispute Resolution
The first step in conflict resolution is for employees to follow the school’s Dispute Resolution process (please refer to your school’s Dispute Resolution Policy) to try to resolve issues with one another. This is an internal and informal process whereby parties discuss differences directly, in a conciliatory and non-legal manner. Once this process has been exhausted, the employee has the option of requesting advocacy through the facilitation services of CEBC.
The second step in conflict resolution is Facilitation. Through facilitation, the employee can request that an external advocate be present to offer support and to help guide the process. In this more structured process, parties are brought together to bring about understanding by listening to one another, discussing the issues, determining mutual needs, and working collaboratively toward a resolution. The vast majority of conflicts are resolved through facilitation. Should facilitation not bring resolution, the employee may be pointed toward mediation and following that perhaps arbitration.
3. Mediation & Arbitration
The next step in conflict resolution is Mediation (please contact Christian Educators of British Columbia for the Mediation and Arbitration Policy). During this more formal procedure, the conflict resolution process changes from the hands of CEBC, the employee, and the party with whom they are conflicted, to the hiring of an external, third party Mediator. Here the mediator helps steer the two disputants toward a resolution. Although this is used less frequently, it can be a necessary third step, and is strongly encouraged prior to arbitration or any more serious legal venture.
Should mediation not resolve the issue, arbitration would be the final step. An arbitrated process requires solicitation of legal counsel. This is a more costly avenue whereby the disputants do not have a say in the outcome, and all decisions made by an Arbitrator are final and binding upon the parties.
CEBC is here to support you. We are committed to working proactively in helping to prevent, manage, and facilitate resolutions to conflict situations in a timely manner, in order to minimize negative consequences and maximize positive results for all parties involved. If you feel you require facilitation, please ensure you have followed your school’s Dispute Resolution Policy, and then contact Christian Educators of British Columbia.