You should not “win” a conflict at work. Winning a conflict simply means that you achieve the results you want, no matter what the other party wants and likes. As the underlying problems are not resolved, they will appear again sooner or later. Therefore, it is much better to aim at resolving the conflict. Unresolved conflicts make employees unhappy and less satisfied. They are also a source of stress and burnout and usually lead to poor communication, which in turn means that the group doesn’t work as well and less efficiently. Conflict management is also included in your duties if you are a manager. Below are some tips on how to easily handle the conflicts that arise in a workplace.
1. Certain conflicts are inevitable
The first thing you should do is realize that certain conflicts that arise in a workplace can not be avoided. When employees are engaged in their duties or passionate about something, it is natural that disagreements and conflicts arise. People simply do not always like the same thing – and this is not the biggest problem in the world. Instead, try to see the conflict as an opportunity for development. Often a conflict means learning new things and developing as a human being. However, it is important that you as a boss do not let the conflict last for a long time.
2. Identify what kind of conflict it is about
Before attempting to resolve the conflict, it may be useful to first identify what kind of conflict it is to get a clearer picture of the situation.
This is a conflict about what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad. The same event is interpreted differently. The conflict usually depends on having different reference frameworks. To resolve this kind of conflict, you should focus on the goals and not the best way to get there. If this does not work, it is important that the company has a well-formulated policy for handling issues.
3.Conflicts of roles
This type of conflict arises when it is unclear who should do what. The distribution of roles between employees is simply unclear. For example, someone may be annoyed by someone who does not “do his job” or what he or she “should”. In order to resolve a conflict of interests, it is important to make clear to everyone what each person’s responsibilities are.
4.Conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest depends on the employee’s goals or interests incompatible, but it may also concern conflicts concerning ranking and hierarchy. It is commonplace that there is a conflict of interests in cases of deductions, as this often creates a sense of competition between employees. In order to resolve a conflict of interests, it is important that you as a director motivate the decisions made. These should also be based on facts and factuality.
A valuation conflict is based on different perceptions of human perception, morality, ideology or other similar issues. This is the hardest conflict to handle, because it is due to deeply rooted feelings. To resolve this type of conflict, you should try to get both parties to accept each other’s opinions and values so that they can work together well and efficiently, even if they feel and think differently.
6.Conflict of behavior
Here it is about one or more employees behaving in a certain way that creates the conflict, for example, the person in question may behave aggressively or egoistically. In order to resolve this type of conflict, it is important to find out why the person behaves and acts as they do. Perhaps it is about jealousy or the person in question has a big need for confirmation. You resolve this kind of conflict best by talking to the entire group and agreeing on what behaviors are acceptable.
7.Shame or pseudo conflict
This is a kind of conflict that occurs when the group needs to relieve pressure and where the various employees express their dissatisfaction. Small things or details that should not really lead to conflict are then enlarged. This can be expressed in long or lively discussions where one really agrees with the matter. Solving a rage or pseudo conflict may not be necessary at all, as it is not a real conflict. However, make sure that it is not something serious.
Try to look positive and have the attitude from the beginning that the conflict will be resolved. It’s always a good starting point. Believe in yourself and your ability as a manager and think that you and your coworkers will be able to solve the problem together.
9.Do not be afraid of conflict
Conflict treating can have many different causes. Sometimes it depends on how we were treated earlier in life. As a manager, however, you should not be confused. Tackling and resolving conflicts is included in your job. If you are in conflict, you must dare to challenge this fear.
10. Solve the conflict immediately
A conflict that lasts a long time always tends to only become worse. The longer a conflict is going on, the more difficult it will be to solve. Therefore, strive to solve the problems immediately when they appear. Often, a conflict is caused by unspoken and oppressed views that are not addressed. The parties concerned may also expect the other to act or raise the matter in question. Here, your role as manager is extra important.
11. Ask nicely
Never suppose a person acts or has a certain opinion just to make you or any of your employees irritated. Often the person in question has a good reason – and you should find out what it is. If someone has done something that creates anger with other employees or has opinions that someone in your staff does not understand, you should simply ask questions. Be sure that it’s just questions that you ask, and that you don’t start accusing. For example, you can ask questions like “I wonder why you did yesterday?” Or “I’ve noticed that you often act in a certain way. Why is it like that?”. Avoid incorporating the word “always”, which only reinforces the conflict and instead tries to be constructive.
12. Take the time needed and let the person speak to the point
Attempting to resolve a conflict when you are stressed and actually have other tasks that have to be done is not a good idea. Therefore, take time and take time to listen to what the other party has to say. Listen without interrupting. Make sure you can speak undisturbed and create as safe a environment as possible. Do not wait for the other party to the conflict to take the first step.
13. Be a neutral observer
Identify what you see as objective and neutral as possible. Stick to the facts and do not go according to what you know. For example, you can find out what happened and when this happened. How has the other party acted – and what have you done, or someone else, done? It is very important that you talk about actual events and that you do not guess or make assumptions about what the other party thinks. For example, you can say: “I’ve noticed that you often criticize me when we have meetings. Why is that so? “Do not say:” I notice you no longer respect me, “because it’s a personal assumption. Stick to verifiable facts and events.
Keep in mind that a single person rarely is the reason why two people have a conflict and that this has not been resolved. Most often, both parties share in the whole. Therefore, apologize for what you have done. This is perhaps the hardest step. Therefore, remember that apologizing does not mean taking on the entire debt. Instead, you show that you are responsible for your own actions.
15. Show apreciation
While it may be hard to show appreciation for someone you have a disagreement with, be sure to show an appreciation for the other party in the conflict. Also tell why it is important for you to resolve the conflict in a good way. You will notice that the discussions and conflict thus lead to a constructive solution.
16. Explain the consequences
By formulating the consequences of the conflict, it becomes easier to understand why the conflict must be resolved. Therefore, identify the consequences the conflict has caused both yourself and the company as a whole. Think about why this is a problem. This also makes it easier to look at the conflict objectively and from an outward perspective.
17. Set goals
In order for the conflict to be resolved in the best way, it is important to set goals for what you both want to achieve. For example, how can the conflict be resolved in the best way so that both parties are satisfied? Having a common goal to strive towards always makes it easier to find a solution.
18. Be creative
Thinking outside the framework can sometimes help in resolving a conflict. For example, you can brainstorm in order to put together ideas on how to resolve the conflict in the best way.
19. Improve the situation
Decide how both parties should act to create a better situation. What can be improved immediately? For example, agree on how you should act at meetings now. Perhaps you can start by saying what’s good about a suggestion or idea that the other has come up with before you understand what different opinions you have about the matter in question. Instead of criticizing the proposal, you should focus on how it can be improved. This is more constructive. Should a conflict arise after all, you should take this individually and not continue the discussion in front of the entire group. Evaluate there after how you solved the matter in question.
20. Take the help of a mediator
Sometimes conflicts can not be solved without the assistance of a third party who can objectively look at the problem in question. That’s when you should help a mediator. The role of a mediator is to help the parties involved to come up with their own solution, not to give good advice or to express a certain opinion in front of another. It is therefore important that the mediating party has sound knowledge of how to mediate. Both parties should also have confidence in the mediator.
About the author
Jens is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Veloce International marketing blog and the influencer marketing directory Veloce Network. He is a social media and marketing nut, sharing his passion for online marketing and business in his articles.