The workplace can be stressful at times. Anger can be taken out on colleagues because of the close vicinity everyone must work in.
A manager must take control of work conflicts and be able to acknowledge when they are happening.
Anger isn’t the only emotion that occurs during a workplace conflict. People can just as easily feel sad, confused, and unsettled at work. At this point, a manager will need to step in before employees feel uneasy going to work.
Conflict in the workplace should never be ignored and pushed under the rug. It will only cause the issue to erupt in the worst manner possible in the future, and could get to a point where the business needs to get employment solicitors involved.
Here are a few steps a leader needs to take to help address or avoid conflict, and make the workplace a positive environment:
1. Extend Positivity
Sometimes there isn’t anything anyone can do to avoid a disagreement at work. As a manager confronted by this, you must always remain positive, and refrain from dismissing people straight away.
Acknowledging both sides of the argument is key to understanding how each person involved thinks, and why.
When doing this, it proves your understanding of their situation, and they will be more likely to respect your resolution as you acknowledged both sides of the conflict.
Some staff members may not agree with your decision, and may continue to complain. This will make the workplace unproductive over time, so speaking to them on a one on one basis may help them understand your reasoning.
2. Finding a Resolution
As a leader, being decisive will give your team confidence in your decision making. However, making the right decision is key.
Rushing to an answer won’t always be the best approach. Resolving the issue correctly is more important than just making snap decisions.
Don’t feel like you’re wasting time by thinking it over. So seek out the truth and make the decision you think is best. Your team will respect you more in the long term.
3. Acknowledging Personal Relationships
A lot of colleagues become friends outside of work. Considering that a conflict may have stemmed from outside of the work place is worth asking about.
A personal conflict may be harder to deal with in the workplace. But as a leader, asking more questions and helping to mend colleagues’ personal relationships with one another will help their working relationship as well.
4. Dealing with Your Own Faults
Being a good leader is dealing with faults in a professional way. Making an employee feel unnecessarily guilty or upset should never be the goal.
If you know someone is at fault for a workplace conflict, dealing with it in a way that holds the employee accountable but also helps them to better themselves in the future is the best path to choose.
Accepting fault as a leader is admirable. If there was a way you could have avoided the original conflict happening, then accepting some responsibility and apologizing will open colleagues up to accepting their faults too.
5. Using Human Resources
If a manager has gone through all the correct steps during a conflict, and there are still individuals behaving inappropriately I.e. workplace bullying, speaking to human resources may be the best approach to the discrepancy so the individuals know the level of seriousness that their action will lead to.
How Can You Address Conflict in the Workplace?
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