Conflict tends to be an inevitable component in relationships. It is normal to happen when involving people with different expectations and most of all, different personalities. It is usually the most noticeable at the workplace.
Do you have people in your workplace that cause problems for everyone else?
Do you have people that create additional work for others?
We probably meet them all at some point during our working lives: the gossip, the complainer, the know-it-all, the bully, the procrastinator, the control freak, the game player, etc.
In the workplace, conflict is a painful reality and a key reason for poor productivity and frustration. It also creates stress and anxiety for the employees. And these unhealthy dramas will never magically go away. In fact, the situations only get worse when being ignored.
Before solving the problem, it’s important to identify the sources.
Here are some of the potential conflicts:
Poor Communications: People have different communication styles, and sometimes, this can result in misunderstandings.
Performance Conflicts: When certain workers within a department keep performing poorly, and others have been picking up the slack, conflict is inevitable.
Different Interests: Everyone sees the world differently, yet not everyone can accept other people to have their own point of views. Conflict occurs when there is a lack of acceptance of these differences.
Personality Crashes: It’s not possible to ask everyone to like everyone else, but we all do need to find ways to work effectively together.
Different Working Styles: We all work in different ways, and sometimes, conflict in working styles can lead to problems.
Power Conflicts: When each party wishes to maintain or even maximize the amount of influence in decision-making
Organizational Problems: Conflict occurs when it involves inequalities in the organizational chart and how employees report to one another.
The first step in resolving a workplace conflict is to place yourself in the other person’s point of view. Try to be respectful and neutral throughout the process.
Here are a few tips on when trying to resolve the conflicting situation:
(1) Understand the situation:
Few situations are exactly as they seem or as presented to you by others. Before you try to settle the conflict, make sure you have investigated both sides of the issue.
(2) Acknowledge the problem:
Show your acknowledgment to the frustration and concerns from the others.
(3) Be patient and take your time:
Take time to evaluate all information. A quick decision does more harm than good if it turns out to be the wrong decision and further alienating the individual involved.
(4) Avoid using force and intimidation:
Emotional outbursts or threatening people may stop the problem temporarily, but do not fool yourself into believing that it can be a long-term solution. It’s very likely that the problem will resurface. By that point, you have to deal with both the initial problem and the accumulated angry feelings.
(5) Focus on the problem, not the individual:
Avoid your own pre-assumptions about the individuals. Their personalities and attitudes do not equivalent to their inabilities to perform a particular task. Always focus on identifying and resolving the conflict. If, after careful and thorough analysis, you determine the individual is the problem, then focus on the individual at that point.
(6) Keep the communication open:
Allow both parties to express their points of views, but also share your perspective.
(7) Act decisively:
Once you have taken the time to gather information, talked to all the parties involved, and reviewed all the circumstances, make your decision and act right the way. Taking too long to make a decision may damage your credibility and their perception of you. They may view you as either too weak or/and too unconcerned to handle the problem. Not everyone will agree with your decision, but at least they will know where you stand.
If you have other tips or stories of workplace conflicts that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.
Always Remember W.H.Y.
Be Well, Be Happy, Be You