Resolve the Conflict
Resolving conflict in the workplace is hard. But harder still is dealing with un-resolved conflicts because if you let them simmer too long, these issues could reach a boiling point!
When an issue arises it’s important you fix it ASAP to minimise the effect it will have on projects, the working environment and on your HR functions.
An issue that is swept under the rug will eventually raise its ugly head again – and usually at the wrong time! This is why it’s important to confront issues as they happen, even if you would prefer not to!
When deciding to resolve the conflict it means that you have identified that resolving the conflict is more important than why people avoid conflict.
Here we have some pointers on how to make the situation more manageable for all parties involved.
Create a comfortable environment
It’s important that you resolve a conflict in an environment that all parties will feel comfortable in. Somewhere that is private and quiet that all parties have agreed on.
Clearly identify the desired outcome
Identify the outcome you would like to achieve as a result of the discussion. Do you want a better working relationship? A greater understanding of each other’s needs and wants? Spend some time contemplating an outcome as there maybe infinite solutions and outcomes! Keep your desired outcome(s) in mind during the discussion to stay on track.
Allow each party to state their opinions and point of view on the matter
Listen to each other’s point of view. This enables you to get a greater understanding of where each other is coming from. Make sure that the points stay on track related directly to the matter at hand; this is not a discussion, it’s a time to question, clarify and understand.
Identify the differences in your points of view
It is important that you identify and recognise the differences in each other’s points of view as it enables you to gain a greater understanding of the issue at hand.
Identify the possible solutions and alternatives
Look at what both parties want out of the situation and their individual needs. Try to ensure that the solution does not have a party that is a ‘clear winner’. People who feel they have lost are not very good co-workers and may hold resentment towards whom they see as the ‘winners’. When weighing up solution options, it’s important you have an in-depth discussion to make sure that you discuss the negative and positives of each solution before you completely veto it. This will ensure a positive atmosphere to the discussions.
Define the course of action
Define a plan to solve the conflict at hand that will appease both parties and their organisation. Make sure you detail the clear actions each party must undertake in order to resolve the conflict, this may come in the form of setting goals so you are better able to monitor success.
Once the above points have been completed it is important to adhere to them and undertake to do what you said you both would do!
Once you gain more experience with conflict resolution you will become more confident with the process to be followed, this is not only good for you, but also the workplace!
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