Conflicts are natural and can be difficult to avoid when people are together on a ship 24/7.
A conflict is defined as: "A disagreement which creates tension in and among people and which arises when conflicting interests clash."
Conflicts can have positive as well as negative outcomes for the crew aboard a vessel. The outcome depends on the way conflicts are resolved.
If there is no intervention, the conflict will grow and spread and become more and more difficult to resolve. If the problems are addressed, it can clear the air and the parties involved will be more understanding towards each other. Conflict resolution can often mean solving some long standing problems aboard and can perhaps lead to new work processes or ways of working together.
Read more about conflict management aboard in the book A Good Working Life at Sea
In the section on Conflicts in A Good Working Life at Sea, there is a series of case studies on how seamen have resolved conflicts aboard their vessels.
In the toolkit, there is a conflict ladder for use in assessing where exactly on the ladder a conflict is. There are also suggestions for what to do on each step of the conflict ladder, as well as a special approach to resolving conflicts. The method is called (conflict) mediation and is straightforward and easy to use, and a highly effective way of sorting out conflicts. Finally, there is a tool for how to prevent conflicts and create satisfactory well-being aboard.
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