Conflict in the workplace isn’t a sign that you’re failing as a leader. In fact, on the contrary, conflict is an inevitable reality when people join forces and work together under stressful circumstances. In some cases, conflict may even provide you an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills. While conflict may not always be a direct reaction to leadership or the organization’s processes, managers can always benefit from identifying how issues from the top may increase instances of conflict and how improving company culture, procedures, and employee resources can reduce it instead. Opening up conversation with your staff around this can help you receive feedback and insight around what changes may be impactful while also providing a chance for employees to process conflict in the workplace and share how it affects their day-to-day.
3 Ways to Process Conflict in the Workplace .
While it may not be your first instinct to gather feedback to process conflict in the workplace, the truth is that your employees are likely more well-versed on what makes your workforce tick than you are. Getting the information straight from them will help you recognize what changes can create positive impact in the realm of conflict so that the issues can be minimized and when conflict does arise, it can be handled swiftly and perhaps even become a growth opportunity.
Provide Respectful Space for Emotional Expression
Whether you’re dealing with a manager and employee conflict or a dispute just between two colleagues, you’ll want to identify the emotional stressors and misunderstandings that could have triggered the disagreement to begin with. Resolution is typically hard to come by if people don’t feel heard and validated because they won’t put their guard down long enough to search for a solution otherwise. So if this is the realm where conflict keeps occurring, create an environment where peoples’ individual experiences are validated and where there emotions are safe to be expressed. This simply means listening respectfully, not arguing with someone’s feelings, and certainly not dismissing them for being wrong because they feel a certain way. De-escalation training may be the best way to get your team on board with this particular area.
Address Communication Needs
Acknowledge that there may be an issue with communication in your organization and that improving it will be your new focus. Implement communication training strategies and demonstrated changes to how feedback loops are maintained, how job expectations are translated to employees, and how to resolve misunderstandings in the workplace. Effective communication skills are one of the best strategies for handling conflict resolution in the workplace, so stay ahead of it.
Stay Solution Focused
One way to process conflict in the workplace is to maintain the balance between honoring existing concerns and finding future solutions. It can be tempting to get stuck in venting about the problem but keeping things positive and collaborative will help generate the energy needed to move into solutions.
Addressing conflict in the workplace ought to be done swiftly when it arises and can be done proactively to prevent future instances of conflict. To stay ahead of this, get the support and training from conflict professionals who can help you manage these issues effectively with minimal impacts to your bottom line. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.