WHAT TO DO WHEN A WORKPLACE CONFLICT ARISES. 6 KEY PRINCIPLES OF HANDLING THE SITUATION
To create a safe and comfortable working environment is one of the most important tasks every manager has to accomplish. According to the results of recent studies more than two-thirds of managers spend more than 10 percent of their time resolving workplace conflicts, and 44 percent of managers spend more than 20 percent of their time in conflict-related issues. If you want to cope with stressful situations effectively, follow the tips given below.
1. Don’t try to escape
When a conflict arises the most appropriate thing to do is to solve it. A good manager never tries to ignore the problem; emotional weakness and inability to cope with difficult situations are not the characteristics of a real leader. You cannot act effectively until you recognize the problem and admit its existence. Furthermore, a talented supervisor will always try to prevent the conflict by investigating and analyzing all the potential causes of it. If you do so, you’ll never let the situation get out of your control.
2. See the whole picture
Thinking that only participants of the conflict are affected is a big mistake. Disagreements, misunderstanding, anger and dissatisfaction caused by the problem usually influence all the members of your team. Unpleasant working environment decreases their productivity; talent and creativity are wasted on taking part in unconstructive discussions. In the worst scenario people take sides and your organization becomes divided.
3. Choose the right tactic
There are several ways of resolving workplace conflicts. Each of them has its own pros and cons; the task of the manager is to choose the best option that will suit a particular situation.
Each of the sides sacrifices something in order to get some benefits instead. When you use this tactic ‘little is given and little is gotten’.
Confronting sides work together to find the most effective solution of the problem that has caused the conflict. Each of the sides tries to understand the position of the opponent and interact in order to make a group decision.
Someone becomes the winner, and the other one ‘leaves the battlefield’ admitting their defeat.
One of the opponents decreases the opposition, so the other one can satisfy their needs and wishes.
Compromise and collaboration are constructive and highly effective ways of resolving conflicts, while competing and accommodation are tend to be the destructive ones.
4. Don’t get sidetracked
When handling the situation, display a non-preferential treatment, playing favorites is a taboo you should never break. Be just and never judge people, pay attention to the actions instead. Don’t let your emotions drive your decisions.
5. Maintain the communication
Most of the conflicts are caused by lack of information. People don’t get enough information or operate unreliable information. This leads to misunderstanding and disagreement that can break healthy working relationships. To resolve a workplace conflict manager has to organize a group discussion. Every team member should be able to express their point of view freely. This will help to clear the situation and make the right decision.
6. Take an opportunity for growth
Resolving a conflict may be challenging, but as a final result it gives many opportunities for professional growth. Mediating the conflict manager becomes more experienced and develops his/her skill-set. If the problem has been solved successfully, working environment will become more conducive, and your team members will get motivated for setting and achieving new goals.