Preventing and Resolving Harassment in the Workplace – A Guide for Managers

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide has been designed as a tool to help managers prevent and resolve harassment in the workplace. It provides different tips and approaches but should not be presumed or construed to be complete or exhaustive.

It is written as a complement to the Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution, the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process and the related guides accessible through the Prevention and resolution of harassment in the workplace on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat web site. Also please be mindful of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.

For additional information please seek the assistance of a resource person such as a Human Resources/Labour Relations advisor, a Harassment Prevention advisor or an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner with knowledge on harassment related issues.

Harassment at work

When people work together, misunderstanding and conflict are inevitable but this should not be allowed to escalate. As a manager, you have a key role to play in promoting respectful working relationships and helping to deal with conflict constructively. The Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution emphasizes the need for prevention and for creating a culture of respect. This starts with you by building good relationships, having good communication skills and creating an environment of trust, care and respect. If you think harassment is taking place, you must take measures promptly to end it.

What is harassment?

The Treasury Board policy defines harassment this way:

Workplace Harassment

is improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (i.e. based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction).

Harassment is normally a series of incidents but can be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual.

Essentially, the definition of harassment means that more than one act or event need to be present in order to constitute harassment and that taken individually, this act or event may not constitute harassment. It is the repetition that generates the harassment. In other words, workplace harassment consists of repeated and persistent behaviours towards an individual to torment, undermine, frustrate or provoke a reaction from that person. It is a behaviour that with persistence, pressures, frightens, intimidates or incapacitates another person. Each behaviour viewed individually may seem inoffensive, however, it is the synergy and repetitive characteristic of the behaviours that produce harmful effects.

Nonetheless, one single incident can constitute harassment when it is demonstrated that it is severe and has an important and lasting impact on the complainant.

While each case has to be assessed on its own merit and context, Is it Harassment? A Tool to Guide Employees and the Guide on Applying the Harassment Resolution Process provide information and examples to help you further understand harassment.

The following are key questions that can guide you in determining whether the behaviour could constitute harassment:

  • Was the behaviour improper and offensive including objectionable acts, comments or displays, or acts of intimidation or threats, or acts, comments or displays in relation to a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act?
  • Was the behaviour directed at another individual?
  • Was the other individual offended or harmed, including the feeling of being demeaned, belittled, personally humiliated or embarrassed, intimidated or threatened?
  • Would a reasonable person have known or ought to have known that such behaviour would cause offence or harm?
  • Did the behaviour occur in the workplace or at any location or any event related to work, including while on travel status, at a conference where attendance is sponsored by the employer, at employer sponsored training activities/information sessions and at employer sponsored events, including social events?
  • Is it a series of incidents over a period of time or a serious single incident?

In order to make a finding of harassment, each of the above elements must be present.

Consideration about management’s authority

It is important to note that the legitimate and proper exercise of management’s authority or responsibility does not constitute harassment if it is within what a reasonable person would see as “good management” and if the decisions are made in the interest of the organization, not in the best interest of the manager. This is true for the disciplinary process, the performance review process, giving directions for work, management of absenteeism etc. However, these actions might qualify as harassment if they are carried out in a manner that is offensive, humiliating or embarrassing or when power and authority are used in a non-professional way such as using threats, fear and intimidation.

Start with prevention

The organizational culture has an influence on how colleagues interact with one another. Part of your role as a manager is to cultivate a respectful working environment in which harassment is unlikely to occur. Fostering a culture of respect is far broader than managing harassment complaints. Harassment is the tip of the iceberg. Many behaviours do not meet the definition of harassment and yet have adverse effect on the quality of work and on an individual’s wellness. It is your responsibility to address promptly workplace issues that are brought to your attention even if they do not meet the definition of harassment. All individuals working under your responsibility should be treated with respect, fairness, courtesy and dignity. Anyone working for you, be they employees, students, contractors, casual employees, volunteers, service providers or others, has the right to a harassment-free workplace. Conversely, other individuals dealing with your staff should not be the source of harassment. The ongoing effort to demonstrate respect is everyone’s personal responsibility.

Managers have the same responsibilities and rights as other employees, plus even more specific responsibilities when it comes to creating and maintaining a productive, healthy and respectful workplace. The Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution places emphasis on ensuring that preventive activities are in place to foster a harassment-free workplace and Appendix A to the Policy provides some possible preventive activities.

As a manager you are encouraged to apply the following good practices:

Raise awareness

  • Speak to your employees about the key organizational and human values you want to promote in the workplace and emphasize that harassment can seriously undermine these values. Refer to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and/or your organizational code of conduct for more information regarding organizational and human values.
  • Find out what training is available within your organization, within the public service or from private providers on harassment prevention, anger management, meaningful conversations, self-awareness, collaborative problem solving, informal conflict resolution etc.
  • Arrange and support training and awareness sessions.
  • Encourage your employees to attend such sessions and
  • Attend the training with them.
  • Discuss the Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution and Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process with your employees, either individually or at meetings which will help them understand what attitudes and behaviours could lead to perceptions of harassment.
  • Clarify what constitutes acceptable behaviour in the workplace. This includes their behaviour toward all persons in the workplace, including co-workers, other employees, contractors, students, casual employees, agency personnel, volunteers, service providers and clients.
  • Explain the consequences of harassment in the workplace.
  • Coach or counsel individual employees where necessary or refer them to appropriate services within your organization where expertise in the field of harassment prevention and resolution is available.
  • Let employees know that regardless of the source of harassment, whether it be from co-workers, supervisors, managers, other employees, contractors, students, casual employees, agency personnel, volunteers, clients or service providers, it is not acceptable and encourage them to inform you if it happens.

Be a role model

  • Set an example by cultivating awareness and authenticity, and by behaving ethically and responsibly at all times.
  • Treat all persons in the workplace with respect and fairness.
  • Do not take part in or be silent about behaviour that qualifies as harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Do not state that "there is nothing I can do".
  • Exercise your authority fairly and wisely and encourage participation in decision making.
  • Be sensitive to individual needs. Your operational requirements are important but should never be detrimental to the well-being of your employees.
  • Make use of informal conflict resolution techniques and effective communication. For more information on informal conflict resolution, contact a departmental Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner.
  • Keep yourself informed and up to date on how to deal with harassment.

Be aware of the atmosphere in your workplace

  • Inquire about morale, and take note of how your employees interact.
  • Watch out for insults or derogatory jokes, even those that appear to be friendly teasing.
  • Be alert to certain elements of interactions, such as the tone and volume of conversations involving employees, contractors, volunteers, clients or service providers.
  • Ask whether your employees are facing situations that make them feel unfairly treated or uncomfortable and if so, invite them to come and talk to you or your supervisor.
  • Determine if there is any truth to rumours of inappropriate behaviour.
  • Check into increased absenteeism and turnovers.

Watch out for characteristics of an unhealthy work environment

Certain characteristics could indicate the presence of unresolved conflict, which may stem from, or result in, harassment complaints:

  • Lack of communication where employees come to you for information or clarification rather than talking to their colleagues.
  • Increase in communication through e-mail in place of verbal communication.
  • Significant increase in "small" problems that are brought to your attention.
  • Employees exhibit undue concern regarding policy matters or changes in the workplace.
  • "Cliques" (social groupings) form and exclude others. (Examples include lunch, coffee or smoke break groups).
  • Increase in negativism about colleagues or about the workplace.
  • Increased competitiveness among colleagues in a time of change (such as job promotions, introduction of new manager, downsizing or expansion).
  • Increase in bickering, nitpicking or blaming at meetings.
  • Decrease in participation at meetings.
  • "Turf" issues arise, for example, a lack of clarity in roles, responsibilities and job descriptions results in employees not doing what they should or doing things that are someone else's responsibility.

If you identify any behaviour that seems problematic, look into it further and decide on the best course of action. You may want to seek the assistance from a resource person in your organization.

Communicate openly and respectfully

  • Let your employees know that you are willing to hear honest opinions and constructive criticism and demonstrate an ability to hear and learn when receiving critical feedback.
  • Ask your employees for ideas on how to improve morale, office interaction and productivity.
  • Keep in mind that your employees may have issues about the way you manage, so be open, not defensive.

Encourage communication

  • Encourage your employees to talk to each other and resolve issues collaboratively as they come up.
  • Provide assistance in easing future communications or encourage employees to seek out the help of a resource person such as an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner when preparing for a “difficult conversation”.

Consideration

Despite preventive measures, harassment or perception of harassment might still occur. Don't wait until an employee files a complaint or informs you that he or she experiences a particular situation as harassment. If you neglect to deal with issues related to harassment when it first arises, you may be held responsible and be subject to disciplinary measures, as management is ultimately responsible for providing a workplace free of harassment and ensuring the well-being of its employees. If the complaint is against you, see “If you are accused of harassment” later in the Guide.

You may want to discuss the situation with your supervisor, Harassment Prevention advisor, Human Resources advisor or Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner to determine the best course of action.

Informal Resolution Processes

If prevention has not worked, take steps to end harassment. As indicated in the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution the goal of both informal resolution processes and formal complaint processes is to resolve situations of alleged harassment as soon as possible, in a fair, constructive and respectful manner. Talk to the employees experiencing the problem. Find out if the involved parties have talked to each other about the matter and what was the outcome of their discussion.

If the person who feels harassed will talk to you about the situation, make sure your intent is to hear the person out and that your own attitude and behaviour reflect your commitment to helping.

  • Meet in a quiet location, without interruptions.
  • Treat the issue seriously.
  • Keep in mind how vulnerable the complainant feels.
  • Listen carefully and patiently; be non-judgmental.
  • Don't let your own emotions, past experience or the reputation of any party influence your objectivity.
  • Resist the temptation to solve the problem impulsively or to make rash decisions.

In many instances, using informal processes (also called collaborative problem-solving approaches), such as dialogue, coaching or mediation offers the possibility of resolving in a satisfactory manner, and acceptable to both parties, many work issues related to harassment. Such an approach has the advantage of addressing the parties’ needs, concerns and other interests rather than focusing on who is right and who is wrong. It empowers the parties to focus on solutions to meet their needs and often lead to the re-establishment of respectful working relationships.

If you do not believe that you have the skills to implement any of the methods suggested below, do not hesitate to seek out the assistance of a resource person. Sometimes the best intentions, combined with a lack of skills, can aggravate the problem.

Some situations will require that you intervene directly to put an end to an inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour. If this is the case, refer to the section below, “Know when to act”.

Facilitated discussion

If the persons involved refuse to meet or cannot resolve their differences, you need to take a more active role. Offer to facilitate a discussion between them. If necessary, contact your department's or your organization's Human Resources advisor or an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner for assistance.

A facilitated discussion is an informal process that allows for expedited and efficient resolution of "low level" disputes that are relatively new and that have not escalated to significant polarization between the parties.

  • Do not judge what the persons say.
  • Obtain all the pertinent facts and keep a record. It may be useful to keep a record of the actions that you took to resolve the issue.
  • Empower the employees in finding remedial actions or other potential solutions.
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that the matter does not become an item of office gossip; advise the persons involved not to discuss the issue except with those who need to know.

Here are some indicators where it is appropriate to use a facilitated discussion.

  • Level of Communication: Parties are still willing and able to talk together about the situation. They may be more comfortable with another trusted party present for that discussion.
  • Trust Level: Each party is focused on solving the problem and acknowledges that the other party has the same focus. In this regard there is a relatively high level of trust between the parties. Neither party is, for example, assuming that the other has ulterior motives or will intentionally sabotage the process.
  • Commitment to Resolve the Situation: All involved parties are committed to resolving the situation and have expressed some openness to considering options that differ from their current position. In other words, they are open to potential compromise.

Coaching

Once you sit down with the individuals involved in the conflict, you may realize there are underlying issues. It may be that one or more of the parties needs more guidance or specific directions from you either in what is appropriate behaviour or about specific tasks they are assigned. One-on-one discussions may bring openness and sharing of information that would not otherwise happen.

  • Identify the area that requires particular attention and the consequences this area has on the organization.
  • Help the employee identify behaviours or tasks that would be helpful in improving the situation.
  • Follow up closely for improvement.

Coaching is a one-on-one process that is designed to help parties deal with conflicts, disputes and harassment situations. Coaching encourages self-awareness, and empowers parties to recognize the impact of their behaviour and actions on others and how others might perceive such behaviour and actions. Mirroring of behaviour and giving feedback on the effect of behaviour can facilitate resolution.

Here are some indicators where it is appropriate to use coaching:

  • Level of Communication: Parties may be willing to communicate with each other but one or both parties experiences extreme frustration with the communication process. They may say things such as, "He/she doesn't hear/listen/understand anything I say."
  • Trust Level: The trust level between the parties may not be particularly high. Nevertheless, the party receiving coaching is committed to rebuilding trust with the other person.
  • Commitment to Resolve the Situation: There is a high level of commitment to resolve the situation. Individuals being coached are willing to explore their individual role in the situation. They are open to taking personal responsibility for their behaviours and actions and are committed to improving or building skills and making changes that will allow them to resolve the situation.

Mediation

Mediation involves an impartial third party that hears both sides of the situation and helps the parties reach a satisfactory decision about the issue at hand. The mediator provides a forum where the parties can construct their own mutual agreement. The mediator can work directly and in-depth with the parties and encourage discussion. The mediator tries to help the parties reach their own agreement but does not decide what the solution should be. The mediator helps the parties achieve lasting decisions but cannot enforce agreements once they have been reached.

Here are some indicators where it is appropriate to use mediation.

  • Level of Communication: Communication between the two parties has broken down. Parties are not speaking to each other at all or, at the very least, are not speaking to each other about the situation. They are, however, willing to talk to each other with a neutral party present.
  • Trust level: There is moderate to low level of trust between the parties. This lack of trust is often a result of confusion about the other party's actions and/or words. Issues, actions and events will need to be discussed and explored in the mediation process to increase trust.
  • Commitment to resolve the situation: The parties express a moderate to high level of commitment to resolve the situation although they may not see a possible solution.

Group processes

A group or team process is a proactive approach that works at identifying underlying issues and potential conflicts within a group that, left unchecked, have resulted in and may continue to result in harassment situations. With a facilitator, the group or team identifies issues and conflicts that are negatively affecting the group. The group clarifies roles and expectations within the group. It also sets mutual goals for the group and develops a plan of action for future behaviour and interaction.

Here are some indicators where it is appropriate to use group processes:

  • Level of Communication: Parties are communicating little if at all or are communicating with some members of the group and not others. The communication process is not effective. Parties are preoccupied with the situation and find that it is affecting their ability to communicate with each other.
  • Trust level: Parties may express some trust in each other but will frequently question the motivation for other parties' actions and words.
  • Commitment to resolve the situation: The parties may not initially express a commitment to resolve the situation but there is recognition that the productivity and effectiveness of the group have decreased and that the group cannot continue as it is.

Use of this method should be discussed with the person responsible for the harassment complaint process and an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner if it is to be used as a means to restoring work relationships following a harassment complaint. For more information please refer to Restoring the Workplace Following a Harassment Complaint - A Manager’s Guide.

It is a good practice to contact the Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner in your organization for more information on the use of informal resolution processes and how to proceed.

Know when to act

  • Depending on the situation, you may need to intervene and inform one of the individuals that you consider his or her behaviour unacceptable whether the individual is your employee or another person working for you, an employee from another division, a client, a customer or a service provider.
  • Make a request for the behaviour to stop. To produce best results for change, it is helpful if you share your observation of the situation (free from judgment), hear the other person out as to what triggered his behaviour and explain the impact of the behaviour on yourself, your team and the work environment.
  • Recognize a situation that is serious enough to warrant corrective and or disciplinary measures, whether or not an employee files a complaint. Contact your organization’s Human Resources/Labour Relations advisor for assistance.
  • If a contractor's behaviour is unacceptable, inform that person that everyone in the workplace is to be treated with respect. Talk to the owner of the company to report the incident. Depending on the severity of the behaviour, consider putting your concerns in writing and presenting them to the individual and to the owner of the company. If warranted, consider ending the contract. The company is responsible for the conduct of its employees and for the application of disciplinary measures.
  • If the improper behaviour comes from a client or a customer, apply your organization’s guidelines on providing service to the public. If you do not have any guidelines, inform the individual about the unacceptable behaviour and the consequences of his or her action. If unacceptable behaviour persists, consider having a meeting or discussion with the client to try to resolve the issue.
  • If the situation involves threats, stalking or violence, seek help immediately from your organization’s Occupational Health and Safety or Security division or, depending on the situation, you may need to call the police immediately.
  • Work closely with your Human resources, Labour relations/Harassment Prevention advisor, or Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner so they sufficiently understand the situation and the views of the various parties to be able to provide advice.

When a written complaint is filed

Informal resolution processes may not work and a written complaint may be filed. The Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution, the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process, the Guide on Applying the Harassment Resolution Process and any organizational documents will provide you with necessary information on the harassment complaint process. There will be a person responsible for the harassment complaint process in your organization to contact for advice. If you receive a harassment complaint in writing refer the complaint to this person.

Appropriate course of action

The person responsible for managing the harassment complaint process will determine the appropriate course of action to deal with the complaint including giving consideration to the informal resolution processes. You may be contacted for additional information or for your collaboration.

Separating the parties

The Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution does not require the separation of the parties. Management has a discretionary authority to separate employees if it is deemed necessary.

The person responsible for managing the harassment complaint process will notify the parties’ managers of the situation providing them with the “need to know” information only and respecting the confidentiality of the complaint. This may include a discussion with you and the Human Resources/Labour Relations advisor regarding the need to separate the parties hierarchically, physically, or both, for the duration of the complaint process.

Launching an Investigation

It is the person responsible for managing the harassment complaint process who will decide if an investigation will take place while ensuring that consideration is given to informal resolution processes. The Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process, the Guide on Applying the Harassment Resolution Process and the Investigation Guide for the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution will all be helpful in providing you with detailed information on the investigation process and how and where it fits within the harassment complaint process.

Restoring the well-being of the workplace

A complaint of harassment may damage relationships in the workplace. Whether the complaint was founded or not, the employees involved may feel hurt or uncomfortable around each other and other employees both during and after a formal harassment complaint has been submitted. The employees involved will most likely still have to work together. Those who work alongside them will also have opinions about what happened.

The Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process sets out restoring the well-being of the workplace as one of the five steps in the harassment complaint process. It requires that the work unit manager in consultation with the Informal Conflict Resolution practitioners and other relevant organizational resources address the needs of the parties concerned and the work unit throughout the complaint process as well as any detrimental impacts resulting from the incidences of harassment.

To assist you in carrying out this role please consult the following guide: “Restoring the Workplace Following A Harassment Complaint: A Manager’s Guide”.

The purpose of the Guide is to help you, as the manager, smooth the way and promote the restoration of the workplace once the formal process has been initiated (i.e. allegations of harassment have been submitted in writing). More specifically, the Guide is intended to help you manage sensitive and complex issues related to harassment in the workplace with the aim of restoring a respectful work environment not only for the parties involved but for the entire team. By taking proactive yet prudent steps throughout the resolution process, you will be more equipped to deal with your employees’ apprehensions and concerns, and minimize the negative impact on all stakeholders. Early engagement in the restoration of a healthy workplace is an important responsibility of management and ultimately supports the business lines and operational requirements of any organization.

Workplace assessment

Frequently, harassment complaints indicate problems that may be greater than one particular situation between two individuals. Harassment complaints may be a symptom of larger issues that affect a group, team or an entire organization. There are a variety of reasons why, in some groups or organizations, conflicts rapidly escalate, intensify and become increasingly complicated. This can result in an increase in harassment complaints.

In order to avoid continued escalation of conflict and to increase the employee's ability to do their job productively and efficiently, the issues and conflicts at play in this workplace must be assessed and analyzed. Through a workplace assessment, the issues (both real and perceived) can be articulated. An assessment and analysis of these issues will clarify patterns and point to possible solutions.

A trained third party conducts a workplace assessment. The goal is not to find out whether or not someone was guilty of harassment. The purpose of a workplace assessment is to determine what needs to be done to restore a healthy work environment and to prevent harassment from continuing.

You can contact the Informal Conflict Resolution practitioners and Human Resources/Labour Relations advisors in your organization who will guide you further.

If you are accused of harassment

It is possible that as a supervisor or manager, you could be accused of harassment. Others may see harassment in activities that may appear to you to be ways of carrying out your day-to-day managerial responsibilities. See What is Harassment above for examples.

  • If someone informs you that your conduct is harassing and offensive, be receptive. As difficult as it is to remain receptive, keep in mind that you are being given an opportunity to clarify the situation with that person.
  • Thank the person for sharing this information with you and find out what, in the offended party's view, is offensive and attempt to resolve the situation with that person.
  • If you and the offended person are unable to resolve the issue on your own , inform your manager and/or seek advice from departmental resource persons such as a Human Resources/Labour Relations advisor or Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner.
  • Seriously consider engaging in informal resolution processes to resolve the matter.
  • Review the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution, the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process, supporting Guides found on the Treasury Board Secretariat website and any organizational documents.

If you are named as respondent in a harassment complaint, it is advisable that you be accompanied and supported by someone during the process. That person may be someone assigned by your organization, a friend, a colleague, a family member or a union representative.That person is not allowed to speak on your behalf; his or her role is to provide you with advice and guidance, accompany you during the mediation or investigation process, and help you review the investigation report. If you are an Executive, you may wish to contact the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) for advice and guidance, however APEX does not accompany executives during the mediation or investigation process. 

It is neither necessary nor advisable that a lawyer accompanies parties during these processes, as these processes are of an administrative nature only and do not allow anyone to speak on behalf of the parties.

Make use of your resources

You are not alone in managing conflict and preventing and resolving harassment in the workplace. Use the resources available to you to obtain more information and guidance:

  • Read any organizational related documents
  • Get in touch with organizational contacts
    • Human Resources/Labour Relations advisors
    • Harassment Prevention advisor
    • Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner
    • Person responsible for managing harassment complaints in the workplace
    • Employee Assistance Program contacts
  • Enroll in a harassment awareness session and in training on prevention and conflict resolution

Test yourself

Am I creating and maintaining a productive, healthy and respectful workplace?

  • Have I read and understood the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution, the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process and accompanying Guides?
  • Do I know who to go to for advice and guidance?
  • Do I walk the talk? Am I applying the Policy, leading by examples and treating everyone with respect and fairness?
  • Have I discussed the following with all my employees:
    • Public sector values and organizational code of conduct;
    • Employer’s commitment to a respectful workplace and expected behaviours;
    • The informal and formal processes available to them to resolve issues related to harassment;
    • The resources available to them.
  • Am I available for my employees to come and talk to me?
  • Am I aware of changes in group dynamics or impacts on the group?
  • Do I conduct regular, as-needed “check-in” meetings, to see how things are going?
  • Am I intervening as soon as I sense there is a conflict between employees?
  • Do I initiate and support learning on harassment prevention and conflict resolution for myself and the team?

Some suggested reading

  • Bender, Peter U., Leadership from within, Stoddart Publishing Co., 1997.
  • Cloke, Kenneth and Joan Goldsmith, Resolving Conflict at Work, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 2000.
  • Cloke, Kenneth and Joan Goldsmith, The Art of Waking People Up – Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 2003.
  • Crawley, John and Graham, Katherine, Mediation for Managers:Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Relationships at Work, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2002.
  • Folger, Joseph P., Marshall Scott Poole and Randall K. Stutman, Working through Conflict, Longman, New York, 2001.
  • Landier, Hubert and Daniel Labbé, Les relations sociales dans l'entreprise : pratiques et enjeux, rôle des partenaires, communication, négociation et gestion des conflits, éditions Liaisons, Rueil-Malmaison, 1999.
  • Pastor, Pierre and Richard Breard, La gestion des conflits. La communication à l'épreuve. éditions Liaisons, Rueil-Malmaison, 2000.
  • Redmond, Kathleen, Rules of Engagement for Communicating at Work:5 strategies for decreasing conflict and increasing collaboration, Engagement Publishing, 2004.
  • Rosenberg, Marshall, Nonviolent Communication: A language of Life, PuddleDancer Press, 2003.
  • Ury, William, Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People, Bantam Books, New York, 1991.
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