Managing Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

hr-mattersConflict in the workplace is something that we have to deal with in every single industry, even in workplaces that take every effort to avoid it. Preventing conflict is impossible, but learning to manage and deal with it effectively when it comes up is a necessary part of management.

When done effectively, measures to resolve conflict can encourage the parties involved to come away from the experience positively, with no unresolved animosity. This ideal conflict resolution can prevent intense feuds or rivalries from wrecking the workplace.

Using a Process to Facilitate Conflict Resolution

1. First, step into the conflict and use your position to set the scene, so to speak. Utilize active listening to get the entire picture, speak assertively and make it clear that discussion is the goal. Set the example that you want the conflicted parties to emulate.

2. Next, find out what happened. Ask for both viewpoints, show that you respect everyone involved, and understand how the issue is affecting the workplace objectively, not personally.

3. Now, come to a conclusion about what the problem is—two involved parties may actually have two very different ideas of a problem, regardless of an obvious conflict.

4. After, discuss solutions and encourage negotiation. Everyone involved should be part of the solution and should agree.

5. Finally, make it clear what needs to be done to enforce the solution. Make sure both sides understand the problem, and that both sides understand what is expected.

The Benefits of Resolving Conflicts the Right Way

Effective conflict resolution brings benefits to the parties involved that you might not have considered otherwise. Resolution requires discussion and empathy, which can lead to better communication skills and a deeper understanding of the people in your workplace.

Additionally, coworkers who successfully resolve a conflict leave the experience with a greater respect for each other and a bigger capacity for working together. This is particularly important for companies that have an emphasis on teamwork.

Finally, coworkers who go through conflict resolution often use the opportunity to stop and look at themselves and their own behaviors. Understanding why you chose to behave in a way that led to conflict can help you learn to avoid it in the future.

Encourage these understandings and respect in your employees during the conflict resolution process. You will come away from the experience with a workplace that is stronger and more respectful.

Why You Need to Handle It Right

Positive conflict resolution has plenty of benefits ready for the taking, but poor resolutions can damage the workplace. Coworkers can leave the experience behind, but harbor a distaste for each other, which ruins teamwork and respect.

This is distracting, both for the people involved and for anyone uninvolved who happens to work in the same space. Make sure that whatever conflict style you decide to use, you help your employees to resolve the issue in a responsible way and avoid negative ramifications.


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