How to manage interpersonal conflicts in the workplace.
Conflicts within the workplace are unavoidably natural among team members and employers, and even between managers and clients, in the bid to achieve a common interest. This happens as a result of two people or groups airing their different opinions regarding a project, product, or in a regular conversation, or as a result of personality differences or knowledge gaps in the individuals involved. Conflict management is healthy and helpful in arriving at a consensus within the organization, using the right interpersonal skills that can identify and resolve a conflict amicably.
Ignoring a dispute or misunderstanding is as dangerous as leaving fire on a house unquenched. It will eventually reflect in the work quality and also pollute the harmony within the organization. Another ineffective approach people use to solve conflicts is partially addressing the differences because they are trying to make an urgent decision and move on to other important things. It can only work for a short period, but it will trigger even worse feelings eventually.
Conflicts within the workplace can be prevented and can also be a factor for healthy relationships within the organization, which will result in better understanding. There are numerous ways to deal with interpersonal conflicts, but importantly, these practices are most effective.
Set a meeting time: As an employer trying to settle a dispute amongst co-workers, it is important to create the time to meet with the two people having a misunderstanding. A time to understand their different point of view with an unbiased perspective and a time to ask goal-oriented questions such as; how can we move forward from here? What will it take? And as an individual tired of not getting along with your team members, set a time to meet to resolve the situation.
Practice active listening; This is actively grasping every word from the speaker without interrupting and giving constructive responses. This requires being empathetic and paying rapt attention to the problem and how the other person involved feels about the whole misunderstanding. This will ensure that you get the other person’s point clearly, and also be able to connect with the emotional aspect in the process of investigating the situation. This will also help to get to the root of the problem and to avoid future arguments.
Accept individuality; Every individual is different. Different in perspective, points of view, character, and in everything, and that’s the beauty that makes up the universe. Everybody in the organization must learn to accept people for who they are, respect their differences, learn to forgive, and move on. In the process of doing this, don’t ‘flight’ by avoiding the issue; simply take a confident stance to look at different possible ways of seeing the matter, including the opposition’s view.
Be intentional about the situation; Always know that running away from the issue will be worse than how it started. Be mindful of the kind of language you use while in the heat of the argument, stay on the topic of the issue, don’t shy away from it, and maintain a confident gaze into the other party. If need be, you can allow a cool breeze over the matter while you go on to make a background check into your view if you are wrong at any point and need to update yourself.
Embrace other opinions too; You can not always be right; there will be times that your opinions will not be accepted, that should still find a way to settle down with you. Politely ask why yours was not considered, and be open to learning to see things better in a clearer view. Ask series of probing questions that can clarify your misconception or gain more knowledge. Let other’s opinions resonate well with you while you be more brainy with yours; this will prepare you to avoid future issues.
Human conflict is the necessary way to have effective communication and relationship in an organization. It exists in the cyclic experience of career development. However, there are numerous ways to resolve misunderstandings, arguments, or even conflicts within an organization, but it takes the right approach and skills to handle it. Good luck.