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How To Handle Conflict In A Workplace

Where humans exist, conflict is bound to happen. It is a normal life aspect. In the world today, organizations hire employees from diverse geographical locations with different cultures and intellectual backgrounds.

This is to say that in a working environment where people have different outlooks towards life and problems, disagreements are bound to happen. When a conflict occurs in a workplace it is advisable for the parties involved to look for a suitable approach to resolve it, because often when a conflict is not handled properly in a workplace it retards progress.

Below are some tips on how to handle conflict in a workplace

1.) Clarify The Issue That Led To The Conflict

The first step to resolving conflict is to clarify the issue that led to it. Defining the cause of the conflict will help to understand how the issue came about, and how to resolve it. Parties involved, need to state what led to the disagreement.

This helps to understand better how it can be avoided most times. Sometimes conflicting parties refuse to have a dialogue to resolve the issue. If you are acting as a mediator between conflicting parties, you need to obtain as much information as possible from each side. Ask questions from both sides until you are certain both parties understand the issue.

2.) Find A Convenient Time To Talk With The Other Person

A very reasonable thing to do when there is a conflict is to find a safe and private place to talk and trash things out with the other party. Avoiding proper conversations will only generate much hatred because the tension has not been doused.

To ensure that the conflict is brought to an end, you need to find an environment for you to talk. Such a place enables you to have honest communication regarding the issue at hand.

Most times when choosing a location to have a conversation, it is advisable to choose a neutral spot and also ensure that each party gets enough time to air out their views regarding the matter.

3.) Listen Carefully

When resolving a conflict, sometimes both parties have this adrenaline rush that makes them want to talk without hearing out themselves properly.

They often interrupt each other. When both parties don’t listen carefully at the end of the whole conversation, it often ends in blame games without the issue being resolved.

A perfect approach to this is to listen to what the other person has to say, instead of always getting ready to react. In case you are not clear with what was said, rather than assuming, ask the person to rephrase what was said to make sure you understand properly, also ask questions to help you clarify your understanding. Ensure to embrace a positive and assertive approach while in the meeting.

4.) Look For Ways To Meet A Common Goal

After both parties must have listened to each other’s viewpoints, for the conflict to be properly handled, they need to come to a common objective, which is resolving the issue and how to prevent it from reoccurring again.

They need to communicate and brainstorm together and look for common ways to meet the common way. They need to summarize their areas of agreement and seek the opinions of each other if they both agree with their assessments.

Then both parties need to modify their assessments until they both agree on areas of the conflict. Both parties need to stick with their discussions until they have worked through each area of conflict, as well as maintaining a collaborative “let’s work a solution” attitude.

5.) Evaluate How Things Are Going And Decide Preventive Conflict Strategies

One of the mistakes conflicting parties make is to presume that the issue is resolute. Effective communication needs to dominate in the business. Both parties need to continue to keep an eye on the issue and assess if the solution is effective.

If eventually, the issue resurfaces, they need to go back to the drawing board and take necessary actions. They need to decide on preventive strategies for the future.

In conclusion, conflict is synonymous with human existence, you can’t avoid it. Rather, look for an effective manner to resolve it when it arises. Managing and resolving conflict at work is integral in meeting organizational goals.

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