There is a myriad of tensions that can arise in a workplace setting which can set off conflict between employees. Whether stress is related to one’s personal life, professional life, or challenging world news, any chronic increase in worry can create vulnerabilities ripe for dispute. This is why learning how to manage conflict in the workplace is a necessary skill for all employees, as well as managing stress and overwhelm. This is particularly important for managers and those interested in leadership positions.
How to Manage Conflict in the Workplace
Learning how to manage conflict in the workplace requires empathy, the ability to actively listen, and a skill set to problem-solve when emotions would rather get in the way. Coworker conflict is avoidable if everyone does their part, and managing stress is a big contributing factor. Here are some ways to decrease stress in the work environment so that resolving conflict between employees takes up less time and energy.
Track Your Stressors
We’re all stressed, but naming what, exactly, causes stress for you can give you better authority over it. Jot down the first few things that come to mind when you consider your current life stressors. Perhaps even journal about them — when they started, what triggers the stress, and how you feel when they arise (e.g. helpless, overwhelmed, sad, wanting to withdraw). Having this clarity can also make it easier to learn how to solve conflicts at work and share your insights with others.
Identify Healthier Responses
When you recognize your sources of stress and you journal or meditate on how you’re responding to that stress, you may notice that there’s room for improvements. Develop healthy coping skills and healthy outlets for your stress so that your stress doesn’t lead to behaviors that inevitably cause you more stress. Conflict between employees can certainly arise when people feel stressed and don’t have positive ways to manage it.
Try to Relax
Relaxing and sleeping are not the same thing, though there’s a chance you’re not doing either of those very well. Take time to recharge from your busy day where you can just sit and be. Maybe you’ll want to read something for fun, do a puzzle, take a slow walk in the sunshine — whatever it is, make some time for yourself. And know that making time for yourself doesn’t mean you’re wasting it. In fact, more rest can lead to better clarity and decision-making skills which can later be applied to learning how to manage conflict in the workplace.
Get Some Support
Reach out to those around you who may be able to help either by offloading some of your tasks — perhaps school carpool will help free up some time in your afternoon — or talking out your issues. Some friends will want to give solutions to your problem, some friends will just listen while you unpack and ofter a supportive ear. Determine which response you’re needing right now and request it from a trusted ally. You can also source out help that includes conflict resolution training if workplace conflict is what you’ve been stressed about.
Reducing vulnerabilities that lead to conflict between employees is a tough task. Get 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.