01 Sep How to Successfully Handle Conflict in the Workplace
Conflict in the workplace is something that occurs in almost all companies, no matter how strong and structured the leadership is there. There will come a time where employees will disagree with a certain plan of action or a decision that’s been made, and that’s okay. What matters the most and what separated the good leadership from the bad, is how that conflict is handled. Regardless of the severity of the discord at hand, those in the leadership positions should always know how to address the problem in a healthy, calm, and productive manner. A team of professionals with excellent conflict resolution skills is essential to keeping a productive business model.
Far too often, busy professionals believe it to be easier to ignore a conflict issue rather than immediately address it. There’s always the hope that the problem will resolve itself over time, but this is rarely the case. If left unresolved, company managers and executives are risking the chance of losing productivity, creativity, and collaboration throughout their office. Depending on the severity of the problem at hand, if it’s not properly handled, employees could take sides and create barriers that will lead to future conflicts. Or, quite possibly, employees will leave and seek jobs that offer healthier and more productive work environments. Having effective conflict resolutions skills can help to avoid these problems from developing. Additionally, it will show employees that their thoughts and feelings are very important to you and the company, making them feel valued.
With that being said, let’s take a look at a few ways to successfully handle any conflict that occurs in the workplace:
- Talk with the employees involved: Arrange a meeting with the involved employees to discuss the matters of the conflict. It’s important to set up this meeting in a way that promotes discretion.
- Listen: Instead of immediately reacting to the problem, give the employees a chance to talk. Listen to what they have to say: their complaints, concerns, needs, etc. During this time, it’s important to ask any and all questions that will help with clarity and understanding.
- Address and prioritize the areas of conflict: If there is more than one area of conflict, talk to your employees about which areas are the most important to resolve first.
- Develop a plan of action: From there, focus on developing a plan with the employees to resolve these issues. This is a good time to set up future meetings to continue with the progress of the situation.
With these techniques in mind, resolving conflicts within the office will be much easier and more effective. You’ll be showing your employees that their thoughts and feelings matter, as does the full functionality of the company. By addressing these issues up front, you’ll be setting the example for all employees.
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