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Informal conflict resolution
Resolving problems
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Staff experiences with informal conflict resolution (pdf Kb 25)
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Resolving problems  

A workplace problem is a concern or complaint that you may have related to any aspect of your work. Other terms used are "grievance", "conflict" and "dispute". The word "problem" implies a wider scope of application and also that many issues may be inter-personal in nature and can be resolved without using formal procedures.

Problems could concern your manager, your co-workers, staff you supervise or manage or the 'Office' in a more general sense.
  • You might have a problem with your manager. This could be about your workload (too much or too little), too much interference with your work, lack of communication, not enough support, bullying or cultural misunderstandings that arise in a multicultural organization.
  • You might have difficulties with your co-workers. They might make comments behind your back, criticise your work, exclude you from discussions or harass you.
  • You might have problems with staff that you supervise or manage. They may not respect your role as supervisor or they may undermine your authority as manager.
  • You might feel that the Office has not treated you fairly or properly, by incorrect application of the Staff Regulations or in some other way.

Defining the problem

Whatever the issue may be, you need to try to define the problem before it can be resolved. Analysing the problem may be difficult, as subjective feelings may affect the perception of the issues.

The Mediator and/or facilitator are available to help define the problem.

Do not keep problems to yourself. it is natural to feel uncomfortable or reluctant about discussing a negative workplace situation with a third party. However, the longer problems are left resolved, the greater the possibility of a negative impact on your work, on your colleagues and on your own well-being.

To contact the Mediator's Office
Phone: +41 (0) 22 799 7270
In person: Room M2-89 at ILO headquarters in Geneva
By mail:
Office of the Mediator
International Labour Office
4, route des Morillons
1211 Geneva 22 - Switzerland
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Last update: 1 February 2005