Handle Workplace Conflict Like a Boss
Are you having trouble with a colleague on the job? While no one wants to be the cause of tension, workplace conflict is inevitable. According to CNN, Human Resource managers report spending 24 to 60 percent of their time dealing with employee disputes. People seldom enjoy being embroiled in disagreements. In fact, conflict hinders productivity in the workplace. The workforce is filled with a diverse group of people with different points or views and varying work styles. The trick is to know how to work through issues to maintain harmony. When problems arise, be ready by having a solid plan in place.
The following practical steps are integral in making you a conflict resolution champion!
Keep the lines of communication open
According to Global Post, lack of communication in a workplace can create a clash in relationships among colleagues, co-workers, supervisors and subordinates, team members and even employees and customers. When the lines of communication dissolve, issues become left up to interpretation for all parties involved. At times one party may think the other said or did something they were not in agreement with. By asking questions, you can potentially prevent a bigger problem from occurring.
Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
By trying to see the situation from the alternative perspective, you can gauge a better understanding of where the other party is coming from. At times we only see how a situation affects us without even realizing that the other person may have a valid reason for feeling the way they do. In dispute resolution, the ability to deeply listen to another person de-escalates the disagreement and creates understanding. By recognizing the reality of different viewpoints you can begin to come to a mutual agreement that is in the best interest of both parties involved.
Take a Chill Pill and Set Aside Emotion
At times it’s difficult not to become offended or defensive during a workplace conflict. It’s easy to want to put on a pair of gloves and duke it out when you’re upset at something. Obviously you want to keep your job so let’s jump to plan B. Check the ego and emotions at the door and stick with the facts. When emotion comes into play, you can lose sight of the real issue at hand and it can escalate into a situation that may need assistance from a third party mediator; thus potentially messing up your reputation at work. Be sure to stick to the problem and don’t put yourself in the mix. Also, try and keep it as professional as you can.
Make a Mutual Pack to Find Resolution
Before the resolution process can fully kick into gear, make sure everyone involved is working to find a solution. The easiest and most effective way to put the other party at ease is to make an agreement to find a resolution to the situation. If a person knows your intention is to make sure all is well, they will be more agreeable in getting the problem solved. A mutual agreement reinforces mutual trust and respect. By ensuring to find a fix, you and the other person can begin to let their defenses down and start to see that the problem isn’t the other person; it’s the issue itself. Now that the outcome is agreed upon, let the solution finding begin.
Keep Calm and Carry On
When you approach conflict in a relaxed and calm manner, you’ll find a solution faster than you would if you were angry and upset. Try to be reasonable and polite, or at least neutral to the other person, advises Better Health Channel. Keeping a cool head will give you a chance to brainstorm and figure out a solution that works for everyone. In addition, your peers will respect you a great deal seeing how well you are at conflict resolution.
Workplace conflict is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and for the most part unwanted. The reality is that everyone is different and issues can become lost in translation by ways on how we approach things, which is how conflict comes about. Be that as it may, conflict does not have to reign supreme in the office. When sensibly done, maintaining a well-balanced workplace is possible. If you can utilize these steps when dealing with conflict, they will surely guide you to controllable resolution. Dealing with workplace conflict will never be fun, but at the very least, you can prepare yourself to handle it professionally when it occurs.
Taryn Barnes is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with HR, Millennial culture, work life balance, and all things tech.