Poor interpersonal relationships, unrealistic assumptions, and communication problems are the most common sources of workplace conflict in the workplace. These are often compounded by the coexistence of different working styles under one setting. For example, generational differences, personal management styles are potential sources of office conflict. Other areas that can breed misunderstanding are educational background and cultural diversity. Conflict resolution tips for a healthy workplace will help you bring interpersonal and communication issues into a clearer perspective.
Conflict Resolution Tips For A Healthy Workplace
Don’t Take Conflict Personal
It is important not to see conflict as a personal attack. It shouldn’t be all about you. Perhaps your colleague is just having a bad day. So it is important to think before you speak in response to an insensitive remark. For instance, keeping quiet sometimes may be the appropriate response.
Clarity of expression
Be precise in expressing your complaints. “I’m always excluded from meetings” is not as effective as “I am certain I would have made some valuable contributions at last Monday’s meeting”.
Don’t Get Involved In Conflicts
Avoid conflicts that do not directly involve you or your responsibilities. In other words, even if someone has clearly been wronged, allow him or her to resolve the situation as he/she chooses.
Don’t Personalise Conflicts
Instead of a “me versus you” mentality, visualize an “us versus the problem” scenario. This is not only a more professional attitude. But it will also improve productivity and it is in the best interests of the company.
Listen And Be Open
Listen and be open to another’s point of view and let the other person know what you think you heard. This important clarification skill leads to less misunderstanding, with the other person feeling heard and understood. Therefore, before explaining your own position, try to summarise and condense what the other is saying into one or two sentences. Start with, “So what you’re saying that…” and see how much you really understand about your rival’s position. You may find that you’re on the same page but having problems communicating your ideas.
Keep Your Superiors Out of Conflict Resolution
Avoid taking the conflict to your superiors in conflict resolution. Otherwise, you will soon give the impression that you are unable to resolve the smallest difficulties.
Agree Time And Place To Talk
Agree first on a time and place to talk, if an extended discussion is necessary. Confronting a coworker who’s with a client or working on a target is neither fair nor professional. Agree on a time conducive to both of you to focus on the problem and its resolution. As such, shift it away from the group of inquisitive coworkers if they’re not involved in the problem. Don’t try to hold negotiations when the office gossip can hear every word.
Restrict Complaints To Those Involved
Restrict your complaints to those directly involved in the workplace conflict. Character assassination is unnecessary. Remember, you need to have a working relationship rather than a personal one. Most times what you think of a colleague’s character is usually irrelevant. “He delivered the report late” is OK; “he’s lazy” is not.
Identify The Red Flags In a Conflict
Identify red flags in a conflict. In other words, know when conflict isn’t just conflict. If a conflict arises due to sexual, racial, or ethnic issues, or if someone behaves wrongly, that’s not conflict, it’s molestation. Take action and discuss the problem with your supervisor or human resources department.
Consider A Mediator
Consider a go-between if the problem gets out of control, or if the issue is too emotional to resolve in a mutual discussion. At this stage, your supervisor should be involved. You can use a neutral third-party mediator in human resources in your organisation or hire a professional counselor.
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