Attention employers and employees: It’s a fact, conflict in the workplace is unavoidable.
It could be a disagreement between coworkers, a misunderstanding between a manager and an employee, or a company setting priorities. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize the various types of conflicts that can occur and develop strategies as well as leadership styles as part of your company culture.
There are all types of conflict that you might not be aware of in the workplace ranging from interpersonal conflict, sexual harassment complaints, sexual misconduct, intergroup conflict, leadership conflict, and much more all of which can cause great discord within the company dynamic.
Luckily, you’re not alone when it comes to these issues in the workplace and they can be resolved to make for a much more pleasant working environment for employers as well as employees.
This article provides examples of workplace conflict and an overview of how to resolve conflicts in the workplace through improving communication skills where there’s a lack of correct communication and emotional intelligence, as well as implementing structured plans. To find out more about handling difficult conversations and disputes at work, read on!
Dealing with Conflicts
Conflict management refers to the processes used to manage disputes. Yes, conflict in the workplace is wasting almost 3 hours every week and almost 50% of employees have encountered it directly – but there’s a way for companies to make smarter use of conflict by investing in effective management and dealing with this type of real conflict.
Conflict resolution depends on creating a strong conflict resolution strategy with conflict resolution activities. Think of your conflict resolution style similar to a culinary art – master it and watch relationships bloom. With the right skills and active listening skills, you can create a productive work environment.
Managers should be able to navigate disagreements smoothly while treating an employee with respect. By discovering and working with fellow employees, a productive work environment will emerge. And at the same time, clashes and other types of conflicts can become valuable growth opportunities.
Overall, senior management and other talented team members should put their differences aside and find harmony with aggrieved employees to aid in employee growth.
Tips to Manage Conflict
- Time’s a-ticking so don’t let workplace conflicts linger and start creating an authentic company culture and a place where employees will want to stay for years.
- Get ahead of the game by quickly addressing issues and diffusing the situation for a healthy culture. Nip misunderstandings in the bud with straightforward dialogue.
- When addressing workplace issues it may be helpful to have employees participate in effective training programs and have the benefit of diversity training in the long run.
- Get creative Gather around to have a brainstorming session or chat to give your opinions and help find the best solution.
- Leave personal attacks out of the discussion and focus on resolving the issue at hand.
- Master active listening which is simpler than you think. To start, ask open-ended questions that provoke conversation rather than just yes or no answers. If a conversation gets fiery, don’t shy away – have each party explain how the disagreement has hindered their work. Once you’ve clarified exactly what was said, repeat it back in your own words and then call for opinions to reach a consensual solution. Nailing active listening can be a boon in creating harmony among rival departments.
- Conflict resolution is unlikely to work if done publicly. People do not enjoy being embarrassed or singled out in front of others. The aim is to reduce tension caused by conflict, and privacy can aid in this. It is important to praise publicly and correct privately. Neutral places are ideal for meetings. If you need authority over a direct report, a manager’s office may be appropriate. It’s also acceptable if there are no other private places available. Make the office as neutral as possible by sitting without any obstructions. This promotes open communication by removing physical barriers.
In the end, working together can sometimes be difficult, but with the right steps, managers can help resolve conflicts.
Examples of Resolving Conflicts
When someone constantly delivers information needed for a project too little, too slowly, that can lead to a tension-filled dynamic on the team — where one person feels slighted, and conflict may arise.
Unleash the power of productivity by making sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, and streamline your workflows for smoother synchronization.
Struggling to reconcile with your manager’s vision? When the goals and intentions are out of sync, managerial-employee relationships can become chaotic. Take the type-A manager, for example – they may come up with ambitious targets that become too much for their staff. On the other hand, a hands-off approach may leave employees feeling directionless.
Set the rules, make sure everyone’s on the same page, and work toward making things happen in a positive light.
Is an employee’s workload getting too much to handle? Help them get the upper hand on tasks by creating a spreadsheet that details what needs to be done and when. Grab a 1-on-1 with the manager, go over the worksheet, and brainstorm ways of streamlining duties or delegating them elsewhere. Communication is key in this case – keep an open dialogue between the employee and your boss; it’ll aid both in perfecting team dynamics. Don’t let the workload get out of hand; there’s always something that can be accomplished and gives everyone accountability for actions.
Transforming tricky customer interactions. No matter what, always show clients your compassion and let them express how they’re feeling. Take ownership of any errors, and then figure out exactly how you can make it up to them – maybe through refunds, discounts, or other small gestures. It’s smart to plan for how much you’re willing to give away to ensure client satisfaction since relationships are key.
Solve the conflicts of performance reviews by helping the employee take their performance to the next level – craft an inspiring plan with clear-cut action steps and deadlines, and make sure their ideas are heard along the way.
Clash of Personalities
Additionally, when working to alleviate and/or address workplace conflicts, keep in mind that all individuals are different, and, on occasion, it may be difficult to collaborate with people who have challenging traits.
It is important to remember that a single negative comment or behavior does not define someone, and understanding should be extended accordingly. Resolving workplace conflicts swiftly and informally is one of the best strategies for avoiding further issues.
Discrimination is a form of workplace conflict and human resources often needs to be involved in resolving a situation. When workplace discrimination claims arise, it is essential for managers to communicate the importance of diversity and tolerance, intently listen to the individual making the claim, initiate a dialogue about the issue, and establish measurable objectives to counter discriminatory behavior.
Essential Skills to Handle Conflict
How do you handle conflict? It’s a regular question asked during job interviews and conflict resolution skills refer to addressing them constructively and constructively.
Essential skills for conflict resolution include:
- Amazing communication is key for everyone to be in the know and heard!
- Conflict management relies heavily on the ability to understand and control our own emotions and tune into those of others.
- Integrating different perspectives can open up a variety of possibilities, fostering both understanding and creativity instead of conflict.
- Problem-solvers come up with the best ideas when they listen to all sides – everyone walks away a winner!
- Look them in the eye; when you hold someone’s gaze while speaking, you show them that you’re confident. Need to communicate better? Focus on being concise and accurate, plus check out your body language and that of others. Ask a colleague for honest feedback and start improving now.
- Having a positive outlook and managing your emotions can help create calm and productive conversations.
Working toward the desired outcome doesn’t happen overnight. Conflict resolution requires the participants to agree and implement a plan of action. Keeping conversations focused on reaching an agreement and recording carry-out tasks is essential for a successful resolution. All parties must be understanding of the outcome before any continuation.
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Q: What are the 5 things essential for a workplace resolution?
Q: These are the essential components that can lead to a successful resolution: Get the “who, what, when, where, why, and how.”
Q: What are the seven steps to successfully negotiating a conflict
- Understand the conflict
- Communicate with the opposition
- Brainstorm possible resolutions
- Choose the best resolution
- Use a third-party mediator
- Explore alternatives
- Cope with stressful situations and pressure tactics