How To Deal With Conflict At Work

An ideal working environment should be free from hazards, tension and conflict. But misunderstandings, disagreements and differences in opinion will always happen so it’s important to know how to deal with it when it arises.

Should you deal with it individually? Or hire an external organisation to help support a high-performance team? How exactly do we deal with conflict in business and most importantly, how do you begin addressing it? Most especially when you’re not sure if it was just you feeling sensitive or if the tension is felt mutually.

Talk it Out

The ultimate way to clear the air is to talk it out. Be the bigger person and set aside awkwardness with a focused intention of resolving things. Be careful not to be in an attack mode. When your intentions are clear, it will always be reflected positively. If you know you’re still furious about something though, learn how to manage it before approaching the person to avoid having another clash.

Approaching them with the intention to sit down and talk can help you gauge if the person involved is into it or not. If they choose to dismiss you, find another time. But if the person is willing to sit down and talk, respect their time. The best way to do this is to agree on a schedule and a place where you will not be bothered is non-threatening but is conducive enough to discuss. A small private meeting room perhaps?

Outline Your Intentions

Usually, when you are trying to patch things up, reactions in between may not be helped but it can be avoided. To do this, inform them from the beginning that they could have the floor after you finish. In this way, they know that her voice is important. They would also find the gesture less threatening because they get the chance to express themselves too. On the other hand, you should know how to give them the floor by listening attentively, not doing rude gestures like looking at your watch multiple times or keeping one eye on your phone. Avoid cutting each other when both of you are trying to speak. Doing so makes things escalate and then before you know it, it can lead to an out-of-control fight again.

When the opportunity presents itself during the meet-up, be clear and concise in what you want to address. Review specific events that led to the conflict. Just to get on the same page, remember to talk about events and not personalities. Avoid using labels and name-calling when addressing an issue. Avoid the generalization of actions and instead, specify an instance and take it from there.

Assess how the conflict happened. If you can, itemize it in bullet points and ask your colleague if they agree on the assessment done, then you move further into focusing on the areas of conflict and how it can be resolved. Most often than not, miscommunication leads to conflict. Do agree on how to move on from this point by committing to a resolution.

Be Honest and Respectful

Speak in truth always and in transparency. Be genuine in your pursuit to compromise or agree. If there are times that expressing disagreement would be necessary, agree on a calmer way of relating it to the person concerned. Agree on resolving differences. Of course, this stage is morally reassuring each other that whatever conflict would arise between the two of you should be avoided at all costs.

As you resolve everything and as you agree on amendments, allow yourself to acknowledge each other’s efforts by sealing it with a handshake, a pat on the back or an acknowledging gesture for allotting time to resolve this. You may set up follow up meetings afterward so that you may continuously work harmoniously and openly. From there, you can build on your success and probably turn into becoming assets of the company, ready to be trainers for the next set of employees.

Other Pathways

If the conflict still occurs, or this method doesn’t seem doable. Speaking to higher managers about a leadership development program might be the way to go. These programs are built to bring out the best in teams and learn how to cooperate. These conflicts arise for a reason. Some things need to be worked out here and there. Whatever you go through with colleagues allows you to learn a lesson. And as it happens, the business also flourishes and grows. Resolving it is a huge step to career development and so it’s just right to be addressed early on.