In a workplace setting, conflict is inevitable. At least, that’s what we tend to think. But the truth is, effective conflict resolution can not only solve short-term problems, but ensure better communication and operation over the long term. Here are some tips for navigating conflicts in the workplace, and how to create a more positive workplace environment.
- Deal with it immediately. When tempers flare and frustrations boil over, it’s better to deal with the issue directly, rather than let everyone separate and dwell on their anger. Bring the concerned parties together into a neutral meeting and guide them through their issue, instead of letting the matter slide.
- Make a plan. In most cases, conflict is a result of a simple a lack of communication between the concerned parties. Break through barriers and help them understand how to communicate their needs in the future, to prevent additional conflicts.
- Know when to step in. Some employees can work out their issues together; others need a third party to help defuse tensions. Be sensitive to the needs of the people concerned, and proceed accordingly. Use your own common sense and intuition.
- Be aware of problems before they arise. Being proactive about workplace communication can help prevent future conflicts. Be cognizant of symptoms of communication breakdowns, such as missed meetings, delayed timelines, and over-reliance of e-mail.