There is no denying the fact that conflict is an inevitable part of a competent workplace environment. When so many people are working together for diverse personal and organizational goals, differences are bound to emerge.
However, it remains the leader’s job to handle these conflict scenarios in a way that is acceptable to all parties involved and beneficial for the organization on the whole.
Mishandled workplace conflicts can result in intense personal animosity leading to one, or all parties, losing their job.
Here is how good leaders approach workplace conflicts for quick and effective resolution:
1. Start Off By Separating People from Problems
Conflicts are never one-sided. So it’s a good idea to try and resolve it in collaboration by understanding the root cause of the problem. Try to address issues—and not people and their personalities—for quick resolution.
2. Listen Carefully to All the Different Interests
Conflict can be further exacerbated if either party starts to believe that they didn’t get enough time to get their say.
So keep the dialogue courteous and avoid blaming anyone, ensuring all parties have had enough time and their own turn to suitably discuss the matter at hand. Make sure all viewpoints come out and also invite possible solutions from the conflicting parties.
Everyone is more likely to be receptive to other’s perspectives, once they know their viewpoints have been considered.
3. Set "Facts" Of the Situation Straight For All Parties
This may sound obvious but many managers regrettably skip this step. Different underlying interests, goals and needs may make everyone perceive the same facts differently, so it’s important to make sure that everyone is indeed on the same page and agreeable about the facts involved.
Sometimes, conflicts occur because of similar viewpoints about interlocking issues that affect everyone differently. In order to reach an agreement, look at all the relevant facts and make sure everyone is looking at the same thing for fruitful outcome.
4. Take the Right Decision at The Right Time
Conflicts are entirely unnecessary and often simply a result of clash of egos in the workplace. However, it is never a good idea to avoid addressing them because smaller conflicts of today can result in potentially business-threatening situations of tomorrow. So address the issue, no matter how trivial it may be, and take the right decision whenever you have hard evidence or proof of a wrongdoing.
If you’d like to learn more about how leaders can connect
with their followers and turn disputes into an opportunity for learning and
growth, take a tour of my website.