Workplace conflict can happen at any company, no matter how otherwise-harmonious. Reviewing examples of avoiding conflict in the workplace can help you maintain a relatively tranquil environment, which also contributes to peace of mind. Take a moment to learn about conflict avoidance examples here, all of which will help you promote a positive workplace. The following are tools and practices you can use to best prevent or avoid conflict in the workplace.

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Clear Job Expectations

Unclear job requirements make conflict inevitable. One team member might end up doing more work because another team member thinks they have fewer responsibilities than they do. Tension mounts as a result, potentially causing terse exchanges between the employees that result in conflict later on. By making job expectations and responsibilities abundantly clear during the hiring process, new employees know what they have to do. It also helps to reiterate the expectations/responsibilities in formal emails so new hirees can refer to them whenever they need to. If anyone has questions about their jobs, let them know they can come to you at any time for clarification.

Being Aware of Personality Clashes

Examples of avoiding conflict in the workplace often revolve around personality clash awareness. It is normal that not everyone in a work environment is going to mesh personality-wise. To prevent potentially-severe clashes between employees that make other team members uncomfortable, consider literally keeping the parties away from one another. For example, one team member could work for a department that is several floors above the employee they have an issue with, which means they will have few to no interactions.

Another way to mitigate personality clash issues is to emphasize that everyone is working in a professional environment. While they do not have to like each other, they must be tolerant and civil. If anyone on the team cannot do this, they might have to look elsewhere for a job.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Staying positive is essential to maintaining a healthy, harmonious work environment. As the owner or manager, you set the tone. Subsequently, if you are constantly negative or otherwise in a bad mood, it will be challenging for your team to maintain positive attitudes. Stress, tension, and conflict can result.

Since remaining positive helps people stress less and solve problems more readily, it pays off to do what you can to maintain a cheerful work environment. To that end, consider ways to show your team how much you appreciate their efforts, like handing out gift cards at the end of every month or providing lunch several days a week. Incentives that encourage quality work, such as bonuses and extra days off, also help. If you are not certain what type of incentives to offer, ask team members to place anonymous ideas in a suggestion box.

Avoiding Emotional Manipulation

Unfortunately, some people use sadness, anger, stress, or fear to get what they want. Giving into emotional manipulation sets the foundation for workplace conflict, because it indicates favoritism. Learning emotional manipulation cues and refusing to engage solves this common problem.

Keeping Communication Respectful 

Healthy communication is another essential component of avoiding workplace conflict. Always treat your team with respect and listen to what they have to say, even if you think you won’t agree. Make it clear that you expect them to do the same with each other, since talking down to coworkers, being condescending, or simply acting rudely make conflict a sure thing. If there is a team member who routinely offends their coworkers, HR or a mediator might have to intervene. Respectful communication should be a company policy, so there is no confusion about employee conduct expectations.

For professional help with avoiding workplace conflict, contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today!

Kent McGroarty

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