The workplace can be home to tight deadlines, high profile projects, and make or break decisions. These factors can make for great collaboration, and even better results however, it’s difficult to ignore the elephant in the room, conflict. Conflict in the workplace can occur at any time. Whether due to differences in personality, principles, or points of view, it’s impossible to successfully manage a company without ever experiencing conflict. With that said it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to waiting for an explosion. No, instead you should always look to prevent conflict before it arises (if possible), and failing that, deal with conflict in a professional and understanding manner.
We’re going to look at ways to combat conflict in the workplace and ease tensions or pain points before they become a problem.
Prevent Conflict Before it Arises
The first prize is always conflict prevention. By sorting issues before they become a problem, you can get ahead of them, speak to your team and find a solution. There are a variety of ways to see the warning signs early.
First, you need to understand that conflict is a natural part of all relationships. Once you accept that you can begin to look at ways to settle disagreements.
The next step is to think about why conflicts arise. Understand the pain points your team experience daily. From basic issues like slow computers to complicated concerns like poor communication or unfair treatment, review the issues that have cropped up in the past and canvas your team to see where workflow could be improved. Your team works within your company every day and are the best resource for understanding where things break down.
Listen to what your team are telling you both verbally and in their attitude, changes in behaviour can often be an indicator that all is not well. That little gripe about the internet connection could well be a sign of a bigger underlying concern.
Once you understand the issues, it’s all about implementing strategies to combat them. At CUBE HR we are well-versed in the arts of managing teams, opening up lines of communication, and making happy workplaces. If you need a hand in determining the issues you’re facing, want a better line of communication, or a unique HR programme then give us a call. Our team will help you prevent conflict before it arrives and create a seamless communication channel between team members and managers.
Techniques for Dealing with Conflict
Even with the best systems in place, you may still find conflicts arise occasionally. There are several techniques and strategies that your senior team can use to manage and settle workplace conflicts. If you are not comfortable managing these issues or want a guiding hand, then please contact CUBE HR today. We have plans that suit all needs be they on an ad hoc basis or with a comprehensive service. Here are some of the best ways to deal with conflict in the workplace.
Most issues arise because of poor communication. One of the first things to do is practice effective listening. Depending on the situation people may require different forms of listening namely; attentive, responsive, and active. Depending on the situation you may need to use one or a combination of these.
- Attentive listening is good for listening to concerns or personal feelings in a non-judgemental manner.
- Responsive listening uses verbal and non-verbal cues to show interest and care before providing feedback.
- Active listening is the practice of listening attentively before replying with suggestions that don’t invalidate anyone’s point of view.
Some useful verbal cues in these situations include confirmation phrases such as ‘yes’, ‘really’, and repeating key phrases of what you’ve heard.
Non-verbal cues are also key. Speech is only a single aspect of communication with your body, face, and actions influencing conversations. Try minimising distractions like mobile phones by leaving them at your desk, or take the parties to a quiet space where they can communicate without distraction. Other non-verbal cues include eye contact, a friendly demeanour, and not placing yourself at a distance from the speaker (for example behind a desk).
These techniques are part and parcel of soft skills in the office, and while they may seem obvious it’s worth practising to ensure you are using them effectively.
Positivity is a great way to dispel aggression or worry. Always communicate positively and try not to be judgemental. You should also avoid generalisations like ‘always’ or ‘never’ and always focus on the issue, not the person.
Find Common Ground
It can be difficult to see the woods for the trees when people are upset. Start conflict resolution by identifying issues and finding common ground with the parties concerned. For example, if someone is upset with the work someone has created, speak to them and you’ll probably find that both parties want to do the best work they can. They may just not have the time or resources.
Use a Mediator
Sometimes, distance in the form of a third party is required. It can be very easy for people to get sucked into an argument and bringing in an expert conflict resolution team is a good way to show you want the best outcome. At CUBE HR, we have years of experience dealing with all concerns and offer HR services to solve issues and create a happy workplace for team members and managers.
We practice HR differently. We believe that happy employees make happy customers, making your business thrive. If you have any conflict issues or want some training or support before issues arise then contact us today. Our aim to make workplaces happy and productive is central to all of our work. Contact us now for amazing conflict resolution and experience award-winning HR services.