Conflict situations at work are inevitable and while preventing them entirely may be intriguing, and useful in some sense, managing them effectively is typically a more beneficial approach. With the right tools to address conflict, it can shift from being a source of stress and drama and instead become a point of growth for your team.
Conflict Situations at Work
Effectively managing conflict situations at work often requires some skills training and education, which may include everyday tools like communication, and less common tools such as de-escalation skills.
Clarify the Source of the Conflict
When dealing with coworker conflict, you may experience the urge to solve multiple issues at once, including things that may be unrelated to the conflict at hand. You may also be tempted to address personality issues with the person or people involved in the conflict. While you’re valid in your desires to address other needs and emotions you have, the conflict will be better suited if you focus on the task at hand and instead zoom in on the source of this particular issue. What set this current conflict in motion?
Find a Safe and Containing Place to Talk
When clarity about the source of the conflict fills in, set up a containing space to talk with the people involved. Conflict situations at work require constructive conversations in which everyone gets the opportunity to share their concerns and issues while being heard and validated. This may require some venting and emotional attunement before solutions can be entertained, so a private and safe space to explore these needs is important. A closed office with enough time will be necessary. Learning how conflict in the workplace should be handled by leadership can help with this containment so that employees stuck in the conflict aren’t left to navigate this and their emotions on their own.
Investigate Broader Conflict Causes
Once you’ve listened actively to everyone’s concerns and expressed your own to validation, it’s time to dig deeper into the issues presented and how they correlate to the conflict. When learning how to manage staff conflict, it’s important to be able to hold the complexity between emotions and practical needs so that issues can be mitigated, therefore addressing the emotions beyond simply validating them in the room. While you may have understood the initial cause of this particular conflict, a deeper investigation may reveal policies of culture issues in the workplace that need to be addressed to set a better framework moving forward.
Collaborate on Solutions
Learning how to handle conflict between coworkers means making space for others’ needs and not just your own. This means collaborating on solutions so that everyone’s needs can be met, including the organization’s. Common goals may not be obvious at first, but with respectful communication established and individual needs expressed, moving toward that end should become a little easier. Conflict coaching may be a supportive way to get the tools and insights needed to facilitate this more effectively.
Ramp up your leadership skills or get solutions to current conflict with the right resources. Get support handling conflict situations at work from the experienced professionals who can help. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.