How Do You Deal With Conflict in the Workplace?

No workplace is without conflict, even those that are harmonious most of the time. Asking oneself, ‘how do you deal with conflict in the workplace’ is subsequently a common thing. There are many effective, healthy ways to deal with conflict, all of which contribute to a more productive, happy work environment. Below are ways to deal with conflict effectively.

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Don’t Ignore It

As with any major issue, ignoring conflict does not make it go away. What it does do is make the problem considerably worse, because tension and resentment have time to rise. Rather than allowing these problems to manifest and create an even more unpleasant work environment, tackle the problem as soon as you witness or hear of it. Never call out the individuals involved in the conflict in front of other employees, which is widely considered unprofessional. It makes virtually everyone in the workplace feel uncomfortable and does nothing to quell the anger or upset feelings among those the conflict concerns. Instead, have the involved individuals speak to you one at a time about the issue(s) in private.

Remain Calm

Staying calm in the face of conflict is one of the best things you can do as a manager or team leader. Emotional responses can result in accusations about “picking sides,” “having sympathy for one employee over another,” and similar reactions. By staying calm, you make it clear that you are not here to take sides or add your opinion. It shows that you are dedicated to resolving the issue in an objective way, which helps the employees in the conflict feel calm as well. If one or both think your opinion is a little too visible, they might feel even more upset, resentful, or angry. The calmer you are, the calmer they will likely be too.

Consider Mediation Options

One of the arguably most effective methods concerning how you deal with conflict in the workplace is professional mediation. A mediator visits the workplace on a designated day and sets up in a private conference or meeting room. They will likely ask about the source of the conflict and what issues it has brought up before meeting with the employees involved in the dispute. Depending on the severity of the conflict and what the mediator thinks is best, they might meet with the team members individually or at the same time. No matter when the joint meeting occurs, the involved parties take turns telling their side of the issue. Neither party can interrupt when the other speaks to maintain a relatively calm, professional atmosphere.

Once the mediator has heard about the conflict in its entirety and taken notes, they might ask for a quick recess to determine the best next steps. Whether this professional conflict resolution specialist requests a recess or not, they provide a plan for resolving the issue and moving forward. Each suggested resolution is tailored to the individuals and their work needs. If both parties do not agree on the resolution, the mediator provides alternative solutions until an agreement has been reached.

Wrapping Up

How do you deal with conflict in the workplace when there are multiple issues at hand? The above methods still apply. Resolving the conflict might take more time and energy, but it is always worth working through the problems together and becoming a stronger team for it. An open, honest environment is one of numerous keys to workplace success, as it creates a healthy place for employees to do their best work every day. Your office or other workplace’s turnover rate will likely lower as a result.

For more about conflict resolution at work, please contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today!

Kent McGroarty

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