In those rare situations when all resources have been expended and no resolution has been found, formal consequences may need to be applied. Formal consequences take place when control is relinquished and the situation is handed over to another who is in authority.
Applying formal consequences is similar to enforcing one's boundaries, but at a higher, more intense level. Formal consequences use the systems that have been put in place to address unbearable circumstances.
Most organizations have a written policy that addresses the formal process for problems. The policy may direct employees to:
If none of these are available, the first formal consequence becomes the other party's supervisor. From there, the issue is escalated through the supervisory chain of command.
Sometimes personalities are so intense and difficult that none of these steps resolve problems. In those situations, there may be an outside resource, which may include:
Because situations can escalate to these levels, it is wise to document steps that have been taken. Documentation demonstrates to others that you've done everything possible to resolve the situation and you've followed all stated processes. Documentation should include:
Documentation is very time consuming, but it can be the best defense when outside assistance is solicited.