Conflicts in the workplace might be some of the least pleasant issues you deal with as a manager or other business leader, but they are inevitable. Individuals who work together are bound to disagree at times and even dislike each other on personal levels. However, finding ways to work together as professionals is essential to any business’s success. To help your resolution efforts, review common conflict management examples in the workplace.
When attempting to resolve a workplace conflict, it is never a good idea to “hash out” the issue in front of everyone. Doing so is regarded as unprofessional, not to mention distracting to the employees. It also provides them with gossip, which can spread through the office and create even more distractions for your team. No matter who is involved with the conflict, take action immediately and in private. Your office, an unoccupied conference or meeting room, or other private space is best, as it allows the team members to discuss the problem without an audience. They will likely feel less self-conscious and more likely to be upfront about the issue, which contributes to a timely resolution.
Make it clear during the conversation that you are not there to judge, only to hear what the problem is and find a solution that works for everyone. If you do not feel comfortable listening to the issue for any reason, ask a manager who does not work as closely with the employees to hear the conflict and work towards a resolution.
Conflict Management Courses
There are times when team members need to learn new conflict resolution methods or find healthy ways to change their behavior/attitudes. Training courses that focus on conflict management and healthy conflict behavior can be exactly what these individuals need to grow and thrive, both professionally and personally. How much training they require depends on the severity of the issue and the employees’ general behavior at work.
Since being told they need more training is not something most employees want to hear, emphasize the positives as much as possible. Talk about what they will gain from the classes, the topics covered, and anything else that is relative and positive. Hopefully, employees will “graduate” from the classes feeling better about themselves and each other, and will be ready to do the best job possible.
Conflict management examples in the workplace don’t focus exclusively on resolving various issues. They are also about following up with employees and learning how they are faring following the resolution. Are they still feeling good about said resolution and getting along with their coworker(s)? Do they feel their work performance has improved and if so, how? Are they uncomfortable for any reason and need further attention from management? Following up allows you to ask these and other relevant questions that contribute to happy employees and a healthy work environment.
There are times when enlisting the assistance of a professional mediator is required. Perhaps the conflict is ongoing despite your best efforts, or there was a resolution but tension continues to mount and “sides” are being taken. No matter why you feel a professional mediator is necessary, know that this objective professional is there to hear the issue in its entirety and provide solutions that work for everyone. Objective mediators are often able to extract the whole truth from employees in conflict, because they are not members of your workplace. Team members subsequently feel more comfortable….and more forthcoming.
For more conflict management examples in the workplace, please contact Peaceful Leaders Academy today!