I was recently mediating for one of my clients. Two very talented individuals, who were so driven and so very motivated by success, but had lost an important connection with each other somewhere along the way.

“It’s so embarrassing. Have you ever come across a case as horrendous as this one? I’ll bet you haven’t. God, how awful” one of them said to me, during a private conversation.

Of course, with some help, these two highly capable people could engage again and find a way through. But the conversation reminded me of how fragile we all are, and how just one slightly broken relationship can affect us deeply; derailing our motivation, our confidence and even our health. Making us feel like what has happened is just the worst thing that could possibly happen to anyone. Ever.

Unresolved conflict is everywhere in our working lives, and yet the ripple effect it can have can be so significant to that person, to their team, to the business and its success. Can we really afford to ignore it?

Mediation doesn’t have to be the last resort, where grievances and a whole bunch of other unpleasant experiences have already been exhausted. It can be a proactive and healthy approach that is adopted early on, in a culture where people are encouraged to deal with negative conflict and address problems directly, in order to nurture strong relationships, built on trust.

So next time you see a situation that’s beginning to bubble, before you quietly hope and pray that it will resolves itself with no intervention, think carefully about what impact that situation may be having on your colleagues. How is it impacting on your business? What greater impact could it have if left to fester?

For more information about our Mediation Services please contact our HR Consultancy team to speak to one of our fully qualified and highly experienced mediators. We can help you resolve conflict before your business pays the price.