Performance Management and the Informal Conflict Management System

Ongoing, two-way dialogue about performance is essential for effective performance management. Initiating these discussions can be intimidating for managers and supervisors, as well as for employees. If these conversations are not handled well, they can feel intrusive or even threatening. Having constructive performance conversations can be emotionally challenging for all involved.

All departments and agencies in the core public administration provide Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) services that can help make performance management conversations more meaningful, empowering and productive. ICMS offers voluntary, impartial and confidential support for managers and employees. Through ICMS, managers can learn and practise how to successfully engage employees, provide feedback in a respectful and non-threatening way, and diffuse confrontational situations. Employees can build their capacity to constructively articulate their needs or concerns, practise accepting constructive feedback, and pursue informal avenues to resolve conflicts. ICMS services typically include the following:

  • Information and awareness sessions that provide information about informal conflict management services;
  • Consultation services that provide one-on-one assistance to employees and managers to help them review their conflict resolution options and explore how ICMS can help them work toward preventing and resolving differences;
  • Conflict coaching services that help employees and managers develop strategies and skills to address a specific conflict situation or to develop general communications and conflict management skills. Examples include supporting an employee in raising a problem with a supervisor or colleague constructively, and helping supervisors and managers conduct difficult conversations. Conflict coaching can also involve peer support networks for preventing, managing and addressing workplace conflict effectively;
  • Mediations and facilitated conversations that involve the assistance of a third party during a sensitive conversation;
  • Group interventions that assist teams in addressing issues that are having an impact on the entire group; and
  • Training that supports learning in proven conflict prevention and resolution skills and techniques such as active listening, non-violent communication, and improved self-awareness with regard to conflict.

Contact your organization’s ICMS to learn more about services available to prevent and manage conflict in the workplace.

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