Conflict in a workplace or during work placement can be very stressful. A work placement experience may be a whole new environment for some students, with the added element of being assessed throughout their time on placement. This can contribute to a feeling of being vulnerable, powerless and scared to deal with or approach any potential conflict that may arise.

When conflict is poorly managed it can be difficult for all involved. Some typical kinds of conflict situations in a work place can include:

  • Feeling like someone is taking advantage of you
  • Managing different expectations of what you will do while on placement
  • Feeling disrespected
  • Frustration and stress due to being judged and graded on everyday performance

Here some students describe a conflict they have experienced while on work placement.

These sorts of conflicts can create a tense environment and could impact on your experience while on placement and your enjoyment of the work. An unresolved conflict could also affect your final grade and even your thoughts on your future career direction.

Dealing with a conflict in a workplace

Bec has been attending her work placement with Ms Murphy for a couple of weeks now and so far it has not been anything like she expected. Let’s take a look at a typical day in her work placement.

Let’s follow Bec as she experiences and manages conflict during her work placement.