If you’re preparing for a job interview, you may want to secure an answer for a possible question about resolving conflict at work. A potential employer may want to know your experience, skills, and/or knowledge in regard to workplace conflict, and since it’s a topic that can potentially be emotional, it’s good to have an answer ready to go.
Resolving Conflict at Work
Resolving conflict at work is a skill that lends itself to effective leadership. If you’re able to demonstrate a working knowledge of how to handle conflict at work, you can impress your potential employer and be prepared for inevitable disputes among fellow employees. Here are some essential tips for resolving conflict at work:
1. Don’t Fear Conflict
If colleagues are disputing over ideas or deadlines, it usually means there’s some passion behind the work and overall mission of the project. Deal with uncomfortable issues that arise in this space quickly but don’t find yourself avoiding it out of fear. Conflict handled correctly can sometimes be a launchpad for collaboration and team-building, but you want to act quickly before an argument becomes more.
While it may sound obvious, listening is one of the key tools to resolve conflict. Everyone involved in a conflict between employees needs to be heard and deserves to be validated. It’s often true that not much problem-solving can occur if one or more parties feel unheard or invalidated, so start by listening objectively and offering respect to each person’s experience.
3. Stay On Topic
When resolving conflict at work, avoid bringing other matters into the conflict at hand. If you had a personal issue with someone last week and now they’re involved in a conflict that needs managing, it would be wise not to bring up the past experience. This is because conflict is best managed when it is given undivided attention. Bringing up something old or already resolved can create feelings of a personal attack which will only slow down resolutions.
4. Collaborate on an Agreement
Managing employee conflict is best achieved when both parties feel as though they have something to gain from the solution. For most working adults, a company culture where they’re told what to do isn’t ideal. So, allow everyone involved to propose solutions and work with them to encourage active listening to one another so they can understand each other’s needs as well as express their own.
5. Recognize When Escalation is Needed
Some employee conflict won’t be so easy to solve. In situations where discrimination may be present or where solutions seem impossible to agree upon, it might be wise to include management or human resources. They can handle any liability that may result from this conflict and can utilize their positions to manage the situation as needed.
Resolving conflict at work is something worth being prepared for. Get support and training from neutral and experienced professionals who can improve your conflict management skills or help you manage a current situation at work. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for you and your team.