Conflict Resolution: 9 Best Strategies In Resolving Conflict At Workplace
Effective conflict resolution strategies are required in almost every aspect of our lives. Conflict can be caused by a conflict between two or more people. There are many situations in which coworkers can become conflictive. It is important to address the issue before it escalates.
65 per cent of workers have had conflicts with coworkers. This includes 19 per cent with their direct managers, 11 per cent with external managers and 5 per cent with employees at other companies.
Why are remote workplaces more likely to cause conflict?
Conflicts in the remote workplace, which are not new, are growing because people who are unable to physically see each other when solving problems or sharing information are missing key pieces. Remote employees can misinterpret the intentions, actions, or reactions of another employee if they don't have face-to-face interactions.
Now let’s dive into conflict resolution strategies you can use to navigate through the conflict your team may be experiencing right now or might experience in the future.
Workplace Conflict Resolution Strategies
1. Clarify The Source Of Conflict
Clarifying the source of conflict is the first step to resolving it. Understanding the root cause of conflict will help you understand the origins of the problem. You will also be able to get both sides to agree to the cause of the conflict. You will need to talk about the differences and the needs that are not being met by both parties. You must also ensure mutual understanding. You should get as much information about each side as you can. Keep asking questions until all parties are clear on the issue.
2. Facilitate Communication And Bonding
By helping your team members to work together in fun, safe spaces such as team-building activities, you can reduce conflict at work.
Encourage your team members to be open and respectful with each other. Help your employees bond with team bonding sessions and virtual happy hours . The ability to resolve conflicts effectively can help reduce discontent and improve co-worker collaboration. This will result in strong working relationships.
3. Listen To Both Sides
Modelling and encouraging respectful communication can help you facilitate conflict resolution at the workplace.
The goal is not to win an argument. Actively listen to the other person and paraphrase their perspective/complaint. Make sure they both feel heard. Let each person have an opportunity to express their opinions and views on the matter. Each party should be allowed to voice their concerns and thoughts without being criticized. When you are in a meeting, be positive and assertive. Set ground rules if necessary. This approach encourages both parties to express their opinions in an open and honest way, as well as understanding the root causes of conflict and identifying solutions.
Must read: Eight common mistakes companies make in employee relationship management
4. Find Ways To Achieve The Common Goal
You must have a common goal when managing conflict. This is to resolve the issue and ensure it doesn't resurface. To solve any problem, it is important to understand the stages of conflict. This will help you find the best way to achieve your common goal. After identifying the cause of the conflict and talking with both sides, you will need to sit down and discuss the best ways to reach the common goal. This is to manage and resolve the matter. Talk, listen and brainstorm until you exhaust all possibilities. Before conflicts arise, ensure everyone has a clear understanding of policies. Only then, you can be seen as someone who enforces policy, not creating it.
5. Find The Best Solution And Agree On Who Is Responsible For The Resolution
Management and resolution of conflict require a new way to communicate. As long as employees understand the common goal of their company, it will be easy for them to communicate with one another. After examining the situation and finding solutions, both sides must come up with a solution. To agree on the best solution, both parties must identify solutions that each side can accept. Find common ground. Then, identify the roles and responsibilities of each party in the resolution of the conflict. It is important to take this opportunity to determine the root cause of the conflict and prevent it from happening again.
6. Separate The Problem From The Person
Keep your eyes on the topic at hand and avoid expressing personal emotions. Discuss the issue professionally, without attaching any particular person or group. Make sure you don't start a conversation by accusing the other person. It is your job as a leader to listen and to make an informed decision. To get someone to open up to you, compliment them. Show that you don't see any bad or good guys here. The problem is being addressed, not the individual.
As a leader, you must ensure employees don't feel ashamed or embarrassed about raising a problem or talking about their issue. It can be difficult to admit to problems, but it helps prevent new conflicts in the workplace.
7. Gather Facts
Before you consider a meeting to discuss a workplace conflict, reach out to each member of the team involved in the conflict. Have them share their confidential report. By engaging in joint consultation, you can examine the matter, gather evidence from others and determine what applies to the discussion as well as what needs to be done to resolve the problem.
And make sure, your personal emotions or playing favourites, stay out of conflict resolution techniques.
8. To See Deeper Issues, Look Beneath The Surface
According to 18% of respondents, conflict was caused by "lack of transparency/honesty over something important"; 9 per cent said that there was a "clash in values"; and 2 per cent said that there was a "false accusation"
Conflict happening at the office or at a remote workplace, most of the time disputes can often be rooted in deeper causes such as the feeling of being overlooked or disrespected. It is even clear from the above statistics. So make sure you take the time to discuss the deeper concerns. You can listen to each other's grievances and come up with solutions by understanding them on a deeper level. This conflict management strategy will strengthen your relationship and give your employees a sense of belonging.
9. Do Not Jump To Conclusions
Sometimes the reasons behind a conflict are more complicated than they seem. It is best to not conclude any agreement at the beginning in order to be fair to all parties. Even if the conflict seems obvious, allow everyone to offer their viewpoint. You should get a feel for the past. Don't assume anything about anyone. You should gather all the facts and weigh them with the wisdom of an expert to come to a final conclusion.
To sum it up
Leaving conflict unresolved can cause serious problems to employee morale, productivity, and company culture. No one wants to work in a tense, passive-aggressive environment where they’re constantly uncomfortable. When people don’t want to be at work, it shows low employee engagement, more sick days, and poor job performance.
Sometimes prolonged conflict can also lead to serious implications. So make sure you have the right conflict resolution strategies in place.
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