Last Updated 11 August, 2017

Face Saving Conflict Resolution

Rowan Berries June 2010

Rowan Berries
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Resolving conflicts and saving face

April saw the first birthday of the Employment Act , April 2009. The Act strongly recommends that informal dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, be used before formal procedures like grievances and disciplinaries are invoked.

Too often formal procedures alienate the two parties involve, often over-complicating a conflict which could be resolved by simply letting each party understand their opponents point of view. One important factor is saving face.

Have you ever found yourself backed into a corner, defending a position which you no longer believe in, but feeling there is no way out without losing face? This often happens as disputes escalate and mud is thrown by each side.

People need a chance to save face, and often this means going slower, ie taking time to hear their point of view, to let them suggest the solution or concession themselves, rather than having it imposed on them. The difference in approach is subtle but powerful and can make all the difference between resistance and co-operation.

Rachel Weiss, Rowan Senior Partner

Rowan Consultancy Group

Personal and Organisational Growth and Development: in the HOME, in BUSINESS, in the COMMUNITY.

Rowan Consultancy, 4 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5EN. +44(0)1738 562005