So you’re managing a team that can’t seem to avoid personality conflicts in the workplace? While these conflicts are inevitable in small doses, if your team is encountering them chronically, there are some steps you’ll want to take to ensure they don’t create larger and long-lasting impacts within your organization. Stress, low output, high turnover, and impact on customer retention can all be impacted when internal conflict isn’t managed, leading to some costly interventions. But these can be avoided with the right conflict resolution.
Personality Conflicts in the Workplace
Personality conflicts in the workplace are common and unavoidable when you consider the diversity of personalities on your staff. But staying ahead of these types of conflict can prevent the team from devolving into low morale, low productivity, and high stakes. Costly personnel, PR, and legal issues could emerge if chronic conflict settles into the culture of your organization, so here are some ways to ensure personality conflicts aren’t taking over your teams.
While it can be challenging for the boss to be mediating workplace conflict and the personal conversations that follow, setting the tone that talking about colleagues behind their back isn’t appropriate and won’t be tolerated can reduce the tensions that would otherwise reinforce existing organizational conflict. Interrupt these conversations when you see them happening and certainly avoid initiating or joining them yourself.
Open Feedback Loops
One way to reduce the need for gossip among employees is to give your team a place to put their legitimate concerns. Managers who provide open, confidential, and respectful feedback channels for their employees can experience an increase in effective communication as employees will be able to take action on their concerns rather than be passive and output them ineffectively. Personality conflicts in the workplace can be exciting in certain moments, but reminding the team that peoples’ livelihoods are on the line can reinforce the idea that solutions are better than scandal. Solutions also contribute more toward happy work environment for all.
While you may have some opinions about the rupture between employees or the differences in personalities, remain unbiased and professional when engaging. Staff conflict resolution requires de-escalation and a neutral party to help mitigate the emotions, assumptions, and barriers to communication that create conflict or make it worse. Ensure you have a good handle on your own emotional reactivity so you don’t find yourself contributing to the fight with your own anger or upset. If you’re unable to remain unbiased in this conflict, the best course of action would be to engage another manager, someone from human resources, or an experienced conflict professional who can help your employee address this conflict without added interference.
Managing conflict between employees may not be your favorite part of the job, but it’s an important one. Don’t go it alone. Get support from the professionals who can diffuse rather than ignite the tension at work. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.