Workplace conflicts can happen at any commercial enterprise at any time. Finding healthy ways of addressing conflict in the workplace offers numerous benefits, including a more harmonious work environment with less tension, frustration, and resentment. If you are a manager or a team leader interested in learning more about workplace conflicts and how to resolve them, review the following strategies.

Free Consultation for Workplace Conflict

One-On-One Meetings

Many times, trying to resolve a conflict in a group setting does not work. Emotions are often heightened, causing people to overreact and perhaps say things they later regret. Breaking down the issue by speaking with the involved parties individually helps maintain a feeling of calm. Explain that you simply want to identify the issue(s) and hear from everyone without passing judgment or “taking sides.” Have these meetings in an office or conference room away from the main work area, as privacy helps each person open up instead of feeling like they are being watched.

Once you have a clear idea of the problem, ask each party for input about how to resolve it. They will appreciate this and likely be more willing to compromise. By compromising, everyone involved feels respected and that at least some of their needs are met.

Have a Team Meeting

When you hear of a workplace conflict, holding a team meeting can be effective. It allows you to address everyone in the office or other work environment without naming names or making accusations. You could say something like, “I have heard about recent tension and conflict with some of our team members. I want to remind everyone that they can come to me directly with issues they are experiencing so we can resolve them together. I also want to remind everybody that this is a professional setting and we do not tolerate any behavior that falls into various harassment categories. I am not saying everyone has to like each other and be best buddies, but everyone does have to be civil and work together.”

Addressing conflict in the workplace in this way might be enough to settle the problem, because you made it clear that everyone must remain professional and keep personality issues private.

Get Human Resources Involved

Sadly, not all conflicts in the workplace can be resolved. Some require human resources to become involved and address any harassment or bullying issues. The involved parties might need to be separated and work in different departments, assuming there are no severe harassment issues in play that call for employee termination.

As unfortunate as these incidents are, it is important to demonstrate that your workplace does not tolerate behavior that makes anyone uncomfortable. It is your job to show your team that the workplace is a safe space for them to flex their creativity and help their coworkers.

Hire a Professional Mediator

Working with a mediator means an objective, experienced professional comes in to resolve the conflict. Such individuals pull from a wide variety of conflict resolution tools to provide customized solutions for the involved parties. Perhaps implementing new email response policies are what your office needs, or maybe asking for more feedback from the team is the answer.

It is not uncommon for employees to feel they can be extra honest and upfront with a professional mediator, since the person is not affiliated with the company and there is no risk of favoritism or similar issues. Mediation services help you create a more open, honest work environment, which reduces tension and stress while improving productivity.

If professional mediation is ideal for addressing conflict in the workplace, contact Pollack Peacebuilding Solutions for help today!

Kent McGroarty

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