Managing team conflicts in the workplace can be overwhelming for even the most tenured leader. When conflict between two employees branches out to affect an entire team, or a large group of individuals, the risks not only grow, but so do the resolution needs. More people involved in a conflict means more people who are struggling to communicate, experiencing some degree of emotional dysregulation, and aiming to get their needs met. This requires time and focus from a leader to ensure long-term issues don’t arise.Free Consultation for Team Training
Team Conflicts in the Workplace
While all conflict can be challenging for a leader, team conflicts in the workplace that involve multiple people run a higher risk of creating long-lasting impacts. To ensure the instances and risks of these widespread disputes don’t interfere with productivity, innovation, and getting business handled, there are a few proactive measures leaders can take.
Create a Healthy Work Culture
Learning how to settle conflict in the workplace begins by being more mindful about the environment it grows in. A company culture that is divisive, negatively competitive, lacking the presence and action of leadership, and absent of diversity and inclusion will surely encounter intense and frequent bouts of conflict. A work culture that reduces stress on its hardworking employees is a good place to start, but diversity and inclusion training can help you ensure all employees are being treated fairly, fostering healthy communication, and properly meeting needs to support innovation.
Clearly Communicate Policies & Expectations
It is important that your organization has clear rules and policies about conflict, including how to escalate issues up the management chain if needed. Team conflicts in the workplace can involve and impact a lot of people, which will also have big impacts on the business. But these issues don’t just stop at your bottom line, as financial and legal implications can accompany big or chronic issues. A clearly communicated set of policies and procedures can help mitigate any issues where employees feel left to fend for themselves.
Look for Early Warning Signs
Resolving disputes at work becomes a lot easier when you can get an early start on it. Looking for early signs of conflict can help you and your team better handle conflict in the workplace because clarity and collaboration are more accessible before tensions, emotions, and problems have escalated. Learning how to spot these signs may require some training, but it often includes paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication alike, and noticing patterns between certain employees who may keep encountering problems whenever collaborating.
A leader’s role in managing conflict is to remain neutral and safe to everyone involved. This means not taking sides, even if you have a personal or professional urge to do so. When one party in a conflict feels they are being disregarded for the favor of someone else, their frustration is likely to grow and their trust is likely to diminish. This isn’t a good combination for solution-focused collaboration, so be sure you’re the blank canvas each party needs to be forthcoming about their issues and needs.
Handling team conflicts in the workplace can become overwhelming, as addressing the needs of several people during crisis can be challenging. Get support from the experienced professionals who can diffuse tension within your organization. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.