Workplace conflict is often the difference between a motivated or engaged workforce, and one that is demoralized, disgruntled, and unmotivated. Conflict can cause a great deal of anger, sadness, discomfort, pain, frustration, and other negative feelings. For this reason, conflict reduction and resolution are crucial for any business – especially in today’s day and age, where employees come from diverse geographical locations, intellectual and cultural backgrounds, and differing perspectives and viewpoints.
Hence, in this blog, Samir H Bhatt will cover a few tips that will help employers better manage conflicts in the workplace.
Tips for Managing Workplace Conflict:
Tip 1 – Identify the Root Cause:
Without knowing where the conflict is stemming from, Samir H Bhatt says that it will be pretty much impossible to appropriately deal with it. Pinpointing the source of the conflict will help you learn how the issue escalated to the level of a conflict. In addition, you will be able to better understand the grievances of either party. Keep probing and asking questions until you feel that you have a firm understanding of the conflict situation and the causes behind it.
Tip 2 – Treat Everyone Fairly:
It goes without saying that every employee should be treated fairly. However, sometimes, managers and supervisors – consciously or subconsciously – end up favoring certain employees. Hence, Samir H Bhatt advises the management team to ensure that it acts in a neutral and unbiased manner in order to minimize the chances of grievances between employees.
Tip 3 – Allow Everyone to Speak:
Often, one party will use relentless verbal attacks to silence the other party into submission. However, forcing your co-workers or subordinates to merely shut up without even entertaining their perspective, is unlikely to lead to a healthy and lasting conflict solution. In other words, you need to keep a basic conflict from transforming into a monologue.
Allow both parties the opportunity to express their viewpoints and opinions about the situation. This way, the two parties will be able to talk about the problems that really matter, and avoid emotionally-driven conversational clutter that has almost nothing to do with the actual conflict itself. Samir H Bhatt also recommends putting a clock on the discussion, if you feel that it will lead to more relevant, to-the-point conversations.
Tip 4 – Avoid Ignoring the Conflict:
No matter how much you might want to bury your head in the sand, it is never a good idea as far as workplace conflict goes. Simply ignoring such situations will cause them to accelerate and harm the overall business. Long-term conflicts rub off negatively on the other employees and make them feel uncomfortable and ill at ease.
Just like how one bad fish can spoil the whole pond, it does not take long for a single conflict to establish a culture of toxicity within the workplace.
To conclude, conflict – whether in the workplace or elsewhere –is an inevitable part of our lives. However, we can take measures to ensure that conflicts are minimized and, when they do occur, are dealt with timely and in the right manner.