Conflict resolution skills are frequently thought of as something for managers and other business leaders to focus on. However, conflict resolution skills for employees are just as important, because they allow team members to resolve issues among themselves instead of always alerting management. Below are helpful resolution techniques and skills that employees everywhere can utilize.
It can be challenging to stay calm when someone incorrectly accuses you of wrongdoing or otherwise comes at you in a way you find combative, accusatory, or offensive. Learning to remain calm in such situations takes time and concentration, but is achievable and allows you to mitigate a wide variety of workplace conflicts. To help you stay calm when a conflict arises, focus on taking a few deep, cleansing breaths. Deep breathing from the diaphragm instantly lowers your blood pressure and helps you maintain a calm, rational mindset.
As natural as defending yourself might be, it can heighten the situation and make it worse. What’s more, anger often results in saying things you don’t mean and wish you could take back at a later date. If a fellow employee has an issue with you or otherwise creates a conflict, breathe deeply and listen to what they are saying. It is difficult for anyone to remain fired up when the person opposite them is calm. Once they calm down, you can discuss solutions that resolve the situation, hopefully on a permanent basis.
This concept involves trying to understand another person’s motives, feelings, and triggers. It is the compassionate, empathetic route, and therefore a far cry from defensive reactions. By trying to determine what is causing an employee to react to you in a negative or combative way, you might find yourself wanting to help. For example, say a coworker gets rude instantly because they don’t understand how to use one of your company’s popular products. This product can present challenges, though the manual lets users know how to overcome those challenges and get the most from the item. You could respond with something like, “I understand [x] product can be difficult to deal with. I experienced the same issues when I first started using it, and so have many other people! You are hardly alone! Now, let me help you. Turn to page [x] in the manual and we will go from there.”
Showing that you understand and have empathy for the coworker helps them see past negative reactions, allowing them to focus on using the product with a clear head.
Conflict resolution skills for employees always include quality communication. Without communication, it is practically impossible to resolve conflicts, no matter their cause. Practicing your communication skills helps you deal with issues efficiently, which management will appreciate. If you are in charge of certain work emails, for example, you can review them a few times to determine what, if anything, is unclear. As a result, you’ll send emails that coworkers understand rather than ones that result in question after question. Both you and your fellow employees will appreciate the efficiency.
Effective communication is also key in the event of an actual conflict, because it allows you to express your point of view clearly and ask thoughtful questions regarding what can be done to alleviate the problem. You could end up suggesting a new program that helps everyone in the office communicate better.
These are just some of the important conflict resolution skills for employees that contribute to healthier, more harmonious work environments. For more about conflict resolution for both employees and managers, please contact Peaceful Leaders Academy today!