Conflict is typically seen as something to avoid, especially in the workplace where other efforts should get all the focus. But companies who embrace effective conflict skills might see that some disputes are roots for growth and innovation. Embracing conflict as a good thing, rather than something to avoid entirely, is why these staff conflict resolution strategies may seem a little surprising to you.
Staff Conflict Resolution Strategies
Why might an employer want to lean into conflict rather than avoid the time and energy drain they know it to be? Because embracing conflict for its possibilities reduces anxiety around it, and when people don’t fear the worst, they can speak their mind, voice their concerns, and share creative ideas they may have otherwise kept to themselves. When we’re no longer avoiding the worst case scenario, we’re free to create newer and better best case scenarios. So try these staff conflict resolution strategies with training and support that will improve your outcome.
Train, Improve, Communicate
When people have training on how to manage staff conflict or get to practice using certain skills, they gain a competence that can reduce stress in conflict-inducing moments. Conflict training is important whether you want to normalize conflict in your organization or not, as communicating effectively is important regardless of the work environment. But if you want to foster a culture where conflict can lead to opportunity, giving your staff access to the right resources to learn is a good place to start.
Minimize Fear and Consequences
Dealing with staff conflict can be stressful. But imagine holding a meeting with your team in which you declare conflict is no longer something to fear? Cultivating a work culture that celebrates effective conflict can help reduce ineffective conflict. How? Oftentimes, we have bad reactions to experiences out of fear. Fear can bring up all kinds of emotions to protect us, like anger and sadness and high levels of stress. But if that fear were to be minimized by the work environment and each employee could see a pending conflict as a place to learn and grow, the conflict could be constructive rather than destructive. This goes beyond simply solving workplace conflict and extends into evolving from workplace conflict.
Benefit of the Doubt
Mediating employee disputes can become less urgent when a positive outlook can be applied. When people are experiencing ineffective conflict, they often assume the other person is acting out of ill intent or is trying to assert something unfairly. Encouraging employees to try on a more optimistic view and assume the best intent can lead to collaboration rather than dispute. When conflict is normalized in this way, people can apply skills more effectively it because there are fewer fear-based emotions getting in the way. And from collaborative conflict, new ideas can be born.
If your team needs something more sustainable than these fun staff conflict resolution strategies, consider getting support from neutral and experienced professionals who can diffuse rather than ignite the tension. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right training and resolutions for your team.