How to handle conflict in the workplace?

Conflict is not uncommon in people's lives. People encounter it every day in their relationships with friends, family, and especially at work. Conflict in the workplace leads to a great deal of annoyance, suffering, discomfort, despair, and fury. It is a typical feature of life. In the modern world, employers choose to work with people from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds as well as with different points of view. Disagreements are inevitable in a workplace where individuals approach the same issues from different perspectives. The fact is, conflict and leadership go hand in hand. Leadership is a full-contact sport, and if you are unable or unwilling to resolve dispute in a constructive manner, you should not be in a position of authority.  Although trying to avoid confrontation is a terrible notion, conflict cannot be avoided. Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, that much is true. Whether you look for it or not—a good idea; more on this later—it will still find you.



Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth-or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them. – Kenneth Cloke

Conflicts inevitably arise in people's daily lives. And when problems do occur, the goal is to effectively address and manage them rather than trying to prevent them. People can prevent their disagreements from developing into serious issues by using the proper conflict resolution methods. Setting up conflict management procedures in a business is essential since it reduces employee disagreement.


5 Tips to deal with conflict effectively:


1. Don't Avoid Conflict at Work

Before a conflict has the chance to worsen and turn toxic, it should be handled head-on. - Stuart Hearn, Clear Review's CEO

Managing conflict is preferable to avoiding it since conflict is unavoidable. It is your responsibility as top executives to resolve the problems fairly and quickly. Conflict resolution at work will be simpler the sooner you take action.


2. Clarify what is the source of conflict

Clarifying the source of a disagreement is the first step towards its resolution. You'll be able to comprehend how the problem first arose by defining the conflict's root cause. Additionally, you will be able to persuade both parties to agree on the nature of the conflict. And in order to do that, you must talk about the needs that aren't being served on all sides of the debate. You should ensure that everyone understands one another. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the perspectives of each side. Ask inquiries until you're certain that everyone involved in the conflict understands the situation.


3.Focus on the facts

"Make decisions that are based on justice and understanding where a mutually agreeable conclusion is not attainable." - Paul Russell, Director of the London-based Luxury Academy

Even while we'd all prefer to settle disputes amicably, it's not always attainable. Therefore, it's essential to stick to the facts and make sure that no personal preferences or preconceived notions are taken into account.


4. Actively listening while allowing everyone to speak

Allow each party the chance to express their opinions and impressions about the matter at hand after bringing both sides together in a safe and confidential setting. Give both parties an equal amount of time to voice their opinions and concerns without favoring one. Take a confident, strong stance throughout the meeting. Establish ground rules if necessary. Using this strategy will urge both parties to express their ideas in an open and honest way, as well as to understand the reasons behind the disagreement and find solutions.


5. Define Acceptable Behavior

You know what they say about assuming… Even just defining what constitutes appropriate behavior is a start in the right direction towards preventing conflict. Conflicts can be avoided by developing a framework for decision-making, employing a public statement of delegation of authority, and promoting ethical business practices in cooperation, team building, leadership development, and talent management. Conflicts can also be avoided by having well-defined job descriptions that make it obvious what is expected of each employee and a clearly stated line of command that enables good communication. Make it obvious what will and won't be tolerated in a clear and public manner.


A Valuable Lesson:

Seek Opportunities in Conflict! Every quarrel has the potential to present an amazing teaching/learning opportunity. There is inherent possibility for growth and development where there is conflict. CEOs who don't use conflict to foster teamwork and grow their leadership skills are losing out on a fantastic opportunity. Diverse viewpoints that are correctly handled can inspire innovation and learning in ways that our minds cannot even fathom. Leaders that are wise search for the positive in all opposing viewpoints.


Everyday conflict is a part of life. With your family, friends, or coworkers, you may disagree. However, there are a number of dispute resolution techniques you can use to make sure this problem is insurmountable. The achievement of corporate goals depends on managing and resolving conflict at work. Therefore, if there are any issues or conflicts between your employers, search for the best approaches to handle the matter.



Sources:

  1. https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/supervising/conflict/handle.html

  2. https://www.hrcloud.com/blog/7-tips-on-how-to-manage-and-resolve-conflict-in-the-workplace

  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/?sh=73ca39ea1e95

  4. https://www.td.org/insights/8-essential-tips-to-resolve-conflict-in-the-workplace

  5. https://globalpeacecareers.com/magazine/conflict-resolution-quotes/

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