Resolving Workplace Conflict

If you’ve every had a job chances are you’ve encountered some type of conflict with a co-worker at one time or another. This workplace conflict may come as a result of opposing opinions, compensation, jealousy, credit, or even personal conflict that someone has brought into the workplace. 

Since it is unprofessional to be in constant conflict with our co-workers (and no work would ever get done) we must learn to handle and resolve workplace conflict in appropriate ways so that we can continue to function as a team.

It’s not always easy to resolve conflict in the workplace so we’re here to help! Continue reading below for the best conflict resolution tips for employees and employers. These tips from some 2 great sources will help you navigate and resolve any workplace conflict.

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Resolving Workplace Conflict – Employees

Boston.com’s article titled 8 Tips for Handling Workplace Conflict  is a great guide to handling any conflict in the workplace.

8 Tips for Handling Workplace Conflict:

1. Approach conflict with an open mind → Be sure to see the other person’s point of view

2. Consider what caused the conflict → Determine how you contributed to the conflict

3. Be respectful of differences → What’s acceptable to one person may not be to another

4. Cut conflict in early stages → Communicate with co-workers to avoid future conflict

5. Listen carefully → Listen to fully understand the issue & acknowledge co-worker’s opinion

6. Be mindful of language → Avoid assuming blame, taking a tone, or using accusatory words

7. Ask for help → A mediator may be required to help resolve certain conflicts

8. Be sure the problem is resolved → The conflict isn’t resolved until both sides feel better about the situation

Following Boston.com’s tips will help you navigate and resolve workplace conflict.

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Resolving Workplace Conflict – Employers

Are you a manager unsure of how to deal with conflict between your employees?

Forbes.com developed ‘5 Keys to Dealing with Workplace Conflict‘ to help employers manage conflict that may arise between their employees.

5 Keys to Dealing with Workplace Conflict:

1. Define Acceptable Behaviour

Having definitions for what constitutes acceptable behaviour in your organization is a large conflict deterrent.  Establishing rules and guidelines will help the employees know what will be tolerated and what won’t.

Having solid guidelines for things like business practices for collaboration, team building, leadership development, talent management, job descriptions, and chain of command will help when dealing with conflict since acceptable behaviour has already been outlined therefore it is much easier to identify wrongdoings.

2. Hit Conflict Head-On

Conflict prevention is the best conflict resolution. Employers must seek out problem areas and intervene before they become a conflict. Identifying your workplace’s tension areas will allow you to work proactively to avoid conflict.

3. Understanding the WIIFM Factor

You must understand the ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality of each employee. Understanding their WIIFM factor means understanding their motivation. If you are able to understand each employee’s motivation and work towards helping your team achieve their objectives then you can successfully avoid conflict.

4. Importance Factor

Avoid conflict for the sake of conflict. Pick your battles and be sure that any conflicts that arise are warranted and important to the business.

5. View Conflict as an Opportunity

Every conflict is a teaching opportunity. If a problem area is being resolved between employees then in that resolution is an opportunity for growth in both parties. If a conflict is important and each employee feels very strongly about their opinions then this is also an opportunity for the employer to see both sides of an issue.

Opposing opinions can lead to innovation and it is important for an employer to assess many different viewpoints in order to achieve the best for the business. Conflict resolution and conflicting viewpoints can be used to fuel ideas.

Adopt Forbes‘ 5 ways of dealing with workplace conflict in order to successfully navigate conflicts in your organization.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/#23df00a815a0

http://archive.boston.com/jobs/advice/2013/12/30/tips-for-handling-workplace-conflict/HdjGXL7AqfH4G1bQQ0JITM/story.html#slide-1