Litigation will often create two losing parties, no matter how strong the arguments are on either side of the table. Someone always ends up losing a little more than the other, but this does not mean a winner in any real way was found.
Litigation is best avoided in virtually every conflict scenario. Businesses of all sizes need to assess the intense risks involved with the court system. It could be effective in some rare instances, but it always has costs. These include:
- Mounting fees from lawyers
- Placing many aspects of business on hold
- The potential risk of a lost court case
- Any subsequent costs of court-mandated changes
- Rehiring due to burned bridges
- The aftermath of the public and personal aspects of the court case
Court exists in an environment that is uneasy and unpredictable. Litigation is a last resort and the potential final path after all others options have been thoroughly exhausted. An empathic and human-based approach can minimize the potential of court.
A Human-Based Platform for Conflict Resolution
Litigation is an impersonal and insensitive approach to conflict resolution. The procedures and trial aspects of litigation take precedence, and the human aspects, feelings and emotional components are pushed to the wayside. Court is not about connecting with human needs and repairing an interpersonal rift. It’s about finding a prompt resolution and moving on, often with a hefty financial cost.
Companies that invest in the emotional health of their team and train them in conflict resolution techniques can avoid the pitfall of court. Your company needs to have a system that encourages people to speak about their issues without expecting unfair retaliation. They need to feel like they will have the support of the company and an open ear.
Employees turn to court because they feel they were treated unfairly. But, there is another layer. Almost always, employees also feel as if they would not be heard if they spoke out. They feel that they lacked a voice. A company that provides a channel for communication and a follow-through will often avoid costly and burdensome court trials.
Thorough Conflict Management
Fortunately, you have options. Conflict management training is a tool for avoiding the all-too-often catastrophic process of court.