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Conflict Resolution Tips

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Despite several warnings, Bob from sales is always late with his reports and Tom from accounts can’t do his job until he has all the numbers. As a result, Tom is also late with his reports. He feels frustrated because he thinks this makes him look bad through no fault of his own. And he’s a little concerned he may end up losing his job. So, Tom decides to escalate this to his manager.

This is a rather frequent situation at the workplace, which, if not managed properly, can quickly become a dumpster fire. Conflict will thrive and productivity and employee wellbeing will suffer, as will the bottom line. And your conflict-resolution skills will be put to the test.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom! According to a survey, 76% of survey respondents have seen a conflict have a positive ending, while 41% said it helped them understand other people and 33% said that working relationships improved after a conflict.

Conflict Resolution Process

Conflict is unavoidable and difficult to prevent. However, a good manager can resolve and manage conflict effectively.

First, you need to identify the root of the conflict in order to understand how it came about. It is important to get as much information about both sides of the issue as possible. Each party needs to explain what needs are not being met. A safe, neutral environment, preferably neither side’s office, is conducive to constructive conversation. During the discussion, each party should have the opportunity to have their say. You need to listen actively and set ground rules if he considers it necessary.

After listening to both sides, you should take time to dig deeper into the issue and discover any underlying sources of conflict. Once you are satisfied with your findings, all parties should discuss the common objective, which should be to resolve the issue and take steps to ensure it does not happen again. Everybody should find common ground and agree on the best solution.  Also, determine what each party is responsible for in resolving the conflict.

Afterward, assess how things are going and create strategies to prevent future conflicts.

Skills for Successful Conflict Resolution

Conflict at work can lead to stress and anxiety. Some employees even prefer to quit their jobs rather than face constant conflict. A few skills come in handy when trying to de-escalate a conflict and bring harmony to the workplace.

Active listening means focusing entirely on a speaker, understanding their message, and responding thoughtfully.

Perspective-taking is the ability to understand how a situation appears to another person, and their point of view, as well as their reactions to the situation.

Problem-solving skills.

Facilitation means designing and arranging the environment to make resolution easier.

Mediation is the ability to assist disputing parties through communication and negotiation techniques without taking sides.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, manage, use, and handle emotions in oneself and others.

Negotiation is the ability to steer the discussion to reach an agreement.

Lots of patience and positivity!


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