Conflict is inevitable in most environments where differing personalities work towards common goals. Conflict management in the workplace can be helpful in de-escalating active disputes but it can also leave your team with some new skills and insights into how to prevent future conflict.
Benefits of Conflict Management
Avoiding conflict that has arisen between colleagues or employees is not necessarily recommended. While we may not be eager to navigate conflict, whether ours or someone else’s, unresolved tensions between coworkers or employees and their managers can have long-lasting impacts on morale and productivity. Here are some benefits to conflict management:
Proactive Problem Identification
Workplace conflict can help reveal issues that have been disguised or are sitting just under the surface. Noticing what new insights you gain from conflict can help you stay ahead of these issues and others like them before they cause another interpersonal problem. See if you notice patterns or early warning signs of the root of these larger issues taking hold and take steps to lessen or eliminate their impact. In addition to being able to spot problematic patterns, conflict can help you recognize processes that may not be effective, allowing you an opportunity to tighten up procedures before they create new problems.
Healthy Workplace Relationships
Effectively managing conflict brings about a new awareness of communication skills. While we all have a general understanding of how to communicate, some of us need a little more assistance in ensuring we can assert ourselves without becoming passive or aggressive. Non-assertive communication can serve as a hotbed for conflict.
Conflict management training can equip your team with the kind of skills that not only prevent conflict but nourish healthy working relationships between people who can trust each other, collaborate, and assert themselves with professionalism.
Improved Problem Solving
Effective conflict management helps disputing parties collaborate on a solution. This not only means thinking outside of the box, it means thinking creatively while also acknowledging your own needs and managing emotional reactivity. This allows for a safe exploration of solutions that may not have been accessible without the rupture that conflict within the workplace creates.
Morale tends to rise when company culture fosters healthy workplace relationships. This means that productivity rises, too, as folks spend less time feeling stressed about a teammate, managing poor communication, and fixing mistakes that stemmed from misunderstandings. Equipping your team with conflict management skills can help even when conflict is absent.
While you might not be too worried about the personal growth of all of your employees, when you factor in how it can benefit productivity, engagement, and retention, it seems worthy of some focus. The personal growth one can achieve from being better equipped to handle the emotional and rational sides of conflict can also help increase your organization’s supply of leaders to take you into the future.
Conflict management doesn’t have to be a chore or come with the drama we’d rather avoid at work. Get training and support from neutral and experienced professionals who can diffuse rather than ignite the tension at work. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.