We all experience conflict in our day-to-day lives, both personal and professional. But, dealing with conflict in the workplace can be particularly tricky.
Even though conflict is very common in the workplace, a lot of people struggle in terms of how to deal with workplace conflict. How you handle the situation can depend on your industry, relationship to the other person, position in the company, and the issue at hand.
So, what do you do when a situation arises?
Check out this guide to learn how to handle conflict at work.
1. Don’t Avoid It
Trying to avoid the issue is one of the worst things you can do. Even though avoiding the issue may provide a temporary fix, eventually, things are going to boil over.
Most of the time, this leads to even more damage. The sooner you act, the easier it is to resolve things.
2. Clarify the Source
When a conflicting situation arises, you need to get to the source.
Defining the source of conflict will make it easier for you to understand how the issue came to be in the first place. Additionally, getting to the source will make it so you can get both parties to agree on what the disagreement was.
This will also help you create an environment of mutual understanding and ensure you obtain as much info as possible from both parties. You can check out this interview with Finn Mckenty to learn more about getting to the source of conflict and bringing your best self to work.
3. Find a Safe Place to Talk
When trying to resolve conflict, you want to make sure you create the right environment. This way, both parties will feel more comfortable expressing their true feelings.
Make sure the conversation happens in neutral territory. In other words, don’t hold the discussion in either of the party’s offices. It’s usually best to head to a conference room or some other private area.
4. Let Everyone Have Their Say
Oftentimes, people leave these discussions frustrated because they feel like they didn’t get their say.
When hosting a conflict resolution session, it’s very important that you give each party the opportunity to speak their mind and air out their grievances. Of course, you need to ensure that both parties speak their mind in a respectful way.
If you feel like things are getting out of control, give everyone a break to calm down. If necessary, you may need to set up some ground rules beforehand. Also, make sure you have an HR representative present during the meeting to document everything that happens.
5. Determine a Common Objective
Once both parties have spoken their minds, you need to determine a common objective or goal.
Sit down with both parties and lay out the ways in which you can resolve the situation. Brainstorm together until you’ve exhausted all of your options. Remember, resolution often involves compromise, so make sure both parties are aware of this before you get started.
Are You Ready to Resolve Conflict at Work?
Now that you know how to resolve conflict at work, it’s time to put these tips to use. Pretty soon, the conflict you encountered will be a thing of the past.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips and tricks on managing workplace issues.