Conflict is natural in any type of organization. While certain types of conflict can be used to make a fresh start on a stronger foundation, other types of internal conflict can slow down productivity and reduce operating efficiency. Conflict management is one of the unavoidable core responsibilities that a team manager will have to take on during his or her career. Managing humans is a challenge and a complicated task to say the least. The uniqueness of each person with their individual emotional, relational and professional traits means that clashes are inevitable. Keep reading to discover our 9 tips and tricks to help you identify the skills and approaches needed for resolving conflicts and become a conflict management expert!
Situations of conflict in the workplace can stem from a variety of sources
In the United States, conflict management in the workplace represents 2.8 hours of a manager’s working week, which just goes to show the huge impact it can have on organization. A conflict can be defined as a disagreement between two or more parties and develops as a result of a negative perception of someone’s behavior, words or intentions. In order to resolve conflict within a team using appropriate conflict management techniques, the source of the problem must be identified. Keep in mind that situations of conflict in a company can originate from numerous sources:
- A problem of hierarchy: a head or a manager who has trouble managing projects and being accepted by their team can be a source of conflict in the workplace. Discover here 7 qualities of a good sales manager.
- Too much stress at work can make your team members irritable if they don’t have the communication skills to voice their anxiety.
- Frustration at work can dilute motivation.
- Unequal workloads, pay etc., also generate feelings of injustice.
There can be as many sources of dissatisfaction as there are people in your team.
Conflict at work: the effects on your company
The inevitability of conflict means that managing conflict at work before it becomes too late is crucial to avoid an uncontrollable situation. There are countless potential consequences of this type of problem, including:
- Weaker team cohesion causing demotivation and a loss of productivity
- An increase in absenteeism or a high rate of employee turnover
- A bad working atmosphere and potentially increased aggressiveness in interpersonal relations
It is essential to develop conflict resolution solutions and strategy so that such consequences do not aversely affect the productivity of your employees and the performance of the company as a whole.
How to manage conflict at work with success
People react differently In the face of interpersonal conflict according to their personality. Below is a well-known diagram that illustrates the different ways in which problems are addressed. In a company, the aim is to resolve a situation of conflict with a new so-called win/win situation that suits all involved parties, after negotiation and compromise.
9 tips for dealing with conflict within teams
1.Quickly recognize the signs of a brewing conflict
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tension between colleagues will disappear given time. The situation needs to be diffused straightaway.
2. Encourage dialogue
Listen to each point of view with empathy. Make it clear that you will not take sides. Remain neutral and impartial.
3. Collect as much information as possible
Situations of conflict between two colleagues can affect the rest of the team. Ask questions and take an interest in your co-workers to understand how the problem began.
4. Act as a mediator
After actively listening to the frustrations of the team members affected by the conflict, encourage exchange. Remain professional at all times and look past each individual’s character during the resolution process.
5. Generate dialogue between the parties involved
A private meeting can allow two people at odds with each other to explain their points of view and discuss calmly. Often an open and honest exchange helps to alleviate tension and to find a good compromise.
6. Make suggestions
In your role as manager, suggest solutions to your colleagues with the aim of opening up a discussion that will end in a solution acceptable to both parties. If the parties involved in the conflict find the solution themselves, even better. This prevents either one of the two feeling like they have “lost”.
7. Get a mediator involved
If the previous tips do not help to resolve the conflict, an external actor will almost certainly be able to unblock the situation.
8.Try to understand all opinions
Don’t take sides and be willing to listen to everyone. Identifying the source of the conflict will help you to avoid this situation being repeated in the future.
9. Anticipate conflict
Prevent simple situations and misunderstandings that could easily have been avoided from becoming sources of tension between the team members.
Clashes are inevitable in human relationships, and professional relationships are certainly not the exception to the rule. Conflict resolution at work is a continuous challenge and effective collaboration means knowing how to discuss and exchange in spite of divergent points of view, never losing sight of the common goal of the team.