Conflict in the workplace is inevitable.
But as a leader, knowing how to handle these situations is essential to maintain a healthy and productive work environment.
By using effective dialogue techniques, you can resolve conflicts and improve communication among employees.
Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Define the problem - what is the conflict about, and who is involved?
Defining the problem is the first step in resolving any workplace conflict.
Identifying the problem and who is involved since these conflicts often involve communication breakdowns or a lack of trust.
When assisting with conflicts it's important to understand all parties' perspectives when assisting with conflicts, which may require discussion and careful listening.
Conflict resolution requires clarifying issues and understanding both sides before taking action.
When problem-solving with colleagues, all participants must be open-minded and willing to cooperate; this creates an environment more conducive to solutions and ultimately works towards building stronger relationships in the workplace.
Establish common ground - find something that both parties can agree on
Navigating the workplace can be challenging when conflicts arise between employees.
As a leader, one of the best strategies for handling these types of disagreements is to help parties find common ground and build something that both can agree on.
To do this effectively, look for commonalities such as shared values, objectives, and goals while at the same time remaining professional.
This helps both sides identify common interests they may not have seen initially, allowing them to come together more easily and find ways to move forward positively.
Establishing common ground is an important step toward creating a respectful work environment and finding solutions to workplace conflicts.
Listen to each other - let each person speak without interruption
Fig 2.0 Listening with the intent to understand
In any workplace, listening to each other without interruption is important to demonstrate respect and foster collaboration.
Being a good listener allows for an understanding of differing opinions, allows new ideas to be considered, and helps reach solutions more efficiently.
As leaders, it is vital to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and share their point of view by listening with intent and attentiveness.
Taking the time to listen actively promotes openness within the team and creates a healthier working culture.
Identify the needs of each party - what does each person want or need in this situation?
When conflicts arise between employees, a resolution must be reached.
To do this, it is first important to identify the needs of each party in the situation. What does each person want or need?
One person may want to be heard and listened to, while the other might want a more concrete resolution, like an apology or resolution plan.
Resolution can be achieved by discussing and analyzing both parties’ needs, allowing for a smoother workflow and conflict resolution.
Brainstorm possible solutions - come up with creative ways to solve the problem
As a leader, problem-solving is one of the most important methods for handling employee conflicts.
Brainstorming possible solutions allows for creative problem-solving techniques, which can help develop effective solutions to any problem.
While some problems might need more traditional problem-solving methods, brainstorming is a useful way to generate ideas and ensure all aspects of the problem are considered when finding a solution—as such, practicing brainstorming is important to maintain a healthy and productive work environment.
Choose a solution and put it into action - decide on the best course of action and follow through with it
Fig 3.0 Harmony is always the best choice for productivity to flow
Conflict in the workplace can be difficult to address, but any leader needs to have a plan of action in place.
The first step is deciding on the best course of action; this could range from mediation and restorative justice to more serious considerations such as disciplinary action.
Once the solution is decided upon, it is essential to follow through with implementation to move forward.
Effective communication is paramount - clearly communicating expectations and consequences through verbal and written mediums will help ensure that everyone involved understands the action plan and how it should be followed.
Being prepared and collaborative is key to bringing about an effective resolution.
No workplace is immune to conflicts arising between employees.
As a leader, knowing how to handle these situations is important to maintain a healthy and productive work environment.
The tips we’ve provided should help you start thinking about how to resolve conflict in your workplace.
What type of conflict are you going through?
Solve it through communication with open dialogue following the steps outlined above.
You’ll become adept at handling all types of employee conflict professionally and effectively with practice.