Preventing conflict is one of the best ways to ensure interpersonal issues at work don’t create costly issues for the company. But when you can’t prevent conflict, learning how to resolve conflict in the workplace is the next most important thing.
How to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace
To avoid a host of things that could derail productivity, negatively shift employee morale, and create possible legal and financial issues, it’s important for those on the leadership level to have a firm grasp on how to resolve conflict in the workplace. Conflict doesn’t have to be something you fear. In fact, if you have or desire a leadership role, being able to confidently handle conflict is critical.
Divide and Conquer
Separate disputing parties and give care and attention to each version of the story. Allow each employee to express their view of things as well as their emotional response to it. Validating the perspectives and emotions of those involved will help de-escalate the tension that can act as fuel to keep a fight burning.
Promote Active Listening
Once the tension has decreased and you have an understanding of the underlying issues, hold a joint meeting where you can facilitate an effective expression of the views of both parties. Allow each member of the disputing party to respectfully voice their concerns and help each person take care to actively listen. Active listening means listening not just to respond but to understand. There’s a potential for empathy to be gained from this exchange which could turn conflict into an opportunity for growth, stronger team-building, and improved overall company culture.
When you feel each member of the dispute has been heard, support them in collaborating on a solution that may fit them both, as well as the needs of the company. Allow them to brainstorm and respectfully toss around ideas that can lead to a more productive, inclusive, and collaborative work environment for both of them. Then create an action plan that will allow them to implement the changes they seek.
To minimize the ongoing impact of conflict in the workplace, check-in and follow up with each party, as well as their goals, to ensure things are going well. Address any hiccups that may be present that could lead to another conflict in the future. It’s important to host an honest conversation about what’s working and what isn’t so that solutions can be provided as soon as possible. Following up is a critical step in handling conflict within the workplace.
Know When to Ask for Help
If you’re struggling to make the impact you’re striving for, don’t hesitate to use your resources. This can include another manager, human resources, or, more proactively, conflict resolution training that can support your team in gaining new effective skills that can prevent conflict altogether.
Managing conflict in the workplace is critical for a healthy organization. Don’t go it alone when experts can help you navigate challenging terrain. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.