There are many ways to resolve conflict at work, but there is also a common thread between most effective approaches that indicate there are some best practices that can form a “best way to resolve conflict at work.” Many organizations don’t incorporate conflict awareness into their company culture and by keeping conflict a foreign concept that isn’t talked about, conflict may be more likely to occur.
The Best Way to Resolve Conflict at Work
People often think that discussing conflict will create it, as though conflict is something that can be suggested into existence. Building awareness and skills into the culture of the company is among the best way to resolve conflict at work. Here are some examples of how to implement this into your workplace.
Normalize the Possibility of Conflict
Conflict is not an indication of failure, but when we avoid it, ignore it, or refuse to discuss it, we make it seem like a taboo occurrence. When conflict arises and those involved feel a sense of failure, shame may arise, which is not conducive to an effective healing process. By normalizing conflict, it allows the tension that may normally occur under stressful circumstances to remain low with everyone involved understanding this is simply just something that occurs between people and can be managed effectively. It may feel risky to initiate these conversations but conflict in the workplace is inevitable at one point or another, so getting ahead of it is key.
Provide Skills and Training
There are a myriad of ways to resolve conflict at work as well as resources available to offer effective and comprehensive tools to your employees so that they feel better prepared to handle a conflict, which can prevent instances of destructive conflict. By providing communication, diversity and inclusion, or de-escalation training, your employees will be able to navigate sticky situations that may otherwise result in conflict. This can help not only with colleagues and managers but customers and vendors alike.
Set Clear Expectations Around Conflict
While normalizing the potential for conflict can reduce tensions and amplify the many benefits of workplace conflict training, organizations still benefit from setting clear expectations around what types of conflict are appropriate and how things should be dealt with if they get out of hand. This can further incentivize employees to engage in the resolution process more proactively and creates a safe working environment where conflict is normalized in a healthy way rather than allowed freely without consequence.
Encourage Tensions to Create New Ideas
When employees disagree with each other, they may escalate conflict by fighting for power or control over the outcome of the situation. By supporting your team to see conflict as a source of innovation, they can start to see disagreements as a benefit rather than a problem that creates stress. This encourages collaboration rather than seeking one winner or right answer. This lends itself to the idea that the best way to resolve conflict at work is to embrace it as an inevitability you can control rather than ignoring it as something to avoid.
Dealing with staff conflict can become easier with the right professional support, training, and resolution approaches. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.