Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Anytime two or more people come together, they will eventually disagree about something. While some conflict can be healthy, it is often an indication that there is something wrong. The good news about conflict is that it is usually based on caring. The more someone defends their point of view in an argument, the more they care. But if conflict is allowed to fester and grow without a resolution, it can lead to serious problems such as threats and even physical violence. Today, let’s discuss a few tips to assist with effective conflict resolution.
Right time, right place
When addressing conflict, the most important thing to remember is to deal with the issue early. The longer an issue goes unresolved, the more likely it is to escalate further. In many cases, people often think that ignoring conflict will eventually make it go away. However, this is not the case. Conflict requires swift and effective action to be dealt with in a timely manner. It is also important to choose the right time and place to deal with the situation. Be sure to find a neutral and private setting, where all parties involved will feel comfortable. Allow space for everyone to voice their thoughts and feelings and ensure everyone feels seen and heard.
When dealing with conflict resolution, you want to ensure you are practicing active listening. This means giving full attention to the person speaking. Demonstrate empathy and truly seek to understand their perspective. Be sure to repeat back what has been said, ask questions for clarity and acknowledge that their feelings are valid, and that you are willing to work together to find a solution that is beneficial to everyone involved.
In seeking out a solution, including all individuals involved in the conflict can be helpful in finding a resolution. Therefore, encourage open communication and ask for all parties to offer their ideas for a desirable outcome. You can explore different solutions to find something that is accepted by all. Ensure that everyone is treated with respect, and communication remains inclusive, non-threatening and positive. Conflict resolution can be effective when seeking common ground. Therefore, look for commonalities or shared goals. Rather than focusing on individual wants and needs, consider the interests of everyone involved.
For all parties, it is a good idea to document all that has transpired. From the initial conflict to what steps were taken to find a resolution, ensuring all communication is documented will benefit everyone. Be sure to record the solutions and any further steps that need to be taken. It is important to have references that can be used if future issues arise, or questions regarding the situation need to be further looked at or dealt with.
Once resolution has been agreed upon, follow up with all individuals to see that the proper steps are being taken and followed to ensure the relationship is improving. Keep communication open so that if further issues come up, employees feel that they can speak with you, or with individuals who can help remedy the situation.
Conflict resolution takes education, time, effort, and patience. However, in keeping an open mind, a willingness to listen, and commitment to finding a beneficial solution, you are likely to resolve issues promptly, and efficiently.