Conflict, though, is unfortunate in workplaces but is expected. There can be various differences among colleagues and superiors where individuals cannot agree upon something. Thus it is important to prepare for a conflict in the best possible way. As per a report on workplace conflict, 57% of employees in the US had conflict training. Thus in this article, we are going to talk about five effective tips for conflict resolution in the workplace.
Why Does Workplace Conflict Exist?
In an organization, different types of individuals come from diverse backgrounds; hence conflict and difference of opinion are quite common. This is why conflict resolution is important, as it helps to understand the differences of the individual and helps to manage the conflict by analyzing the feelings and understanding the point of conflict. Conflict resolution thus plays a very important role in complementing the differences, thereby reducing the possibility of conflict.
5 Tips for Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
Conflict resolution is important and integral for business owners. When organizations use appropriate tools for resolution, they try to keep their differences at bay, thereby solving the conflict effectively. The following are some of the five tips that organizations generally follow for conflict resolution in the workplace.
- Take Time To Listen to Each Person
In order to resolve conflict in the workplace, the first and most important tip is to listen to each person involved. Generally, two people who are involved in the conflict have a heightened sense of argument and do not listen to each other. This is why when we arrive at conflict resolution. Thus it becomes imperative that you possess a prolific listening ability so that parties can express their viewpoints and accordingly understand the points of the individual parties. Through active listening and careful consideration of the attitude and words of the speaker, the other party can think carefully and empathize before responding to what the other party says.
It is critical that you pay attention to the other person when they talk. Try to focus on the words which are being said in order to understand and comprehend what is actually said. When you are listening, try to pay attention to the points actually made instead of just preparing for the response. In order to understand the situation in depth, also try to learn about additional facts and accordingly look for different signs of feelings as well as emotions.
- Ask the Employees Whether They Could Consider a Compromise
When describing the conflict with your employees, try to ask them to focus on the present problem and accordingly identify their concerns, feelings as well as needs. Once the basic information is highlighted, then you can encourage your employees who are involved in the conflict to collaborate on a solution. In some cases, collaboration may not work, and this is where you can ask them to consider a compromise. Compromises by both parties on a certain front help them to arrive at a solution and accordingly resolve the conflict.
Open Dialogue Between the Parties
The dialogue method is one of the most effective conflict resolution practices in the workplace. The following are some of the steps that you can follow in order to practice the dialogue method
Though it is the most challenging step as, generally, during the conflict, people try to get defensive. Thus you can ask the other party to sit down and try to listen to what they have to say. Wait until he has completed and then you can follow the next step
When the other party has completed, then you can mirror them and repeat what they have said so as to clarify it. By mirroring what they have said, the anger, as well as frustration, can be retained, thereby clarifying to the other party you were truly listening.
It is important to validate what the other party is saying. By this, you can convey to the person that you understand their problems and want to resolve them. It is not that their feelings are right or wrong; it depends on how you can understand their point of view and arrive at a solution.
After you have validated and understood their feelings, you should go ahead and ask them whether you should go ahead to explain your part. By following the above steps, the other party is generally more intended to hear you. When you are explaining about your point of view, they might try to interrupt you in between. This is possible as they might not be aware of the dialogue method. In such cases, try to make them understand why you should finish and how they can respond thereafter.
You may enhance polite and open workplace relations by using dialogue to settle disputes. Additionally, it will increase your leadership credibility and dependability.
Objectively Assess the Situation
The most important goal of a conflict resolution process is to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics. This can be done by objectively assessing the situation and clarifying the positions and interests of both parties. The assessment helps to map the conflict and works as a wonderful evaluation tool so as to understand the intervention process in order to manage the dispute.
Generally, an objective assessment of the situation involves the following things
- Perception of the stakeholders as well as other parties
- Analyzing the important issues of the group
- Obstacle resolution as well as intervention
- Stakeholder negotiation
The following are some of the phases of conflict assessment.
- Generally, the parties involved conducting open-ended interview questions designed to obtain more information about the conflict.
- The next step is to study the background of the conflict by researching and conducting personal interviews. This is done in order to understand the different viewpoints of stakeholders. If you are conducting an objective assessment, try to understand the key issues present in the conflict along with the interests of different parties along with the barriers.
- After that, when you are assessing, try to map the different areas of agreement as well as disagreement.
- After that, try to frame a report regarding the issues as well as recommendations and accordingly get it reviewed by the parties involved.
- Additionally, in some cases, graphical conflict mapping is also involved in order to map the different elements of conflict. These processes help in understanding the dynamics of a complex conflict in a better way leading to better transformation.
In order to understand the conflict in a better way, you can also hire a third party or a professional mediator so as to get a clear understanding of what the conflict is and how it can be resolved in a stepwise manner.
Determine a Common Goal To Work Towards
After clarifying the conflict, you can try to agree on the desired outcome for the conflict. It is often said that when people know that they will be working towards the same goal, they try to ensure that they fulfill the end goal together. In order to accomplish this, try to discuss what each party has to offer and how to find common ground so that both parties can reach the end goal. This essentially involves listening, communicating a common goal as well as brainstorming it together. Try to discuss with each other until all options to reach the common goals get exhausted.
Another step is to determine the barriers to a common goal. In this step, both parties try to acknowledge what has brought them into the conflict and talk about how to can arrive at a resolution. In order to eliminate the barriers towards a common goal, it is important to understand the problems encountered and how these issues can be handled in a proper way.
It is important to define what can and what can’t be done, thereby arriving at a holistic solution.
The process of conflict resolution in the workplace is a stepwise procedure that involves five important steps. This includes taking time to listen to each person, asking employees to collaborate or compromise in certain cases, creating an open dialogue between the parties, objectively assessing the situation, and working towards a common goal. Through these steps, employee conflict can be minimized to a greater extent. Additionally, you can also consider consulting third-party help. The goal is to ensure that the conflict gets resolved with minimal impact on the business, thereby ensuring higher productivity.