Conflict is natural in any kind of relationship, whether between friends, relatives or co-workers. In human relations, evading conflict is almost impossible. The crux of all human relations is the technique of handling conflicts deftly. At work, the art of handling conflicts can sometimes solve workplace problems while, at other times, helps forge friendships and enhance good working relations among co-workers.
There are three major causes of a conflict arising at the workplace – poor communication skills, bad management and confused goals. A good manager who trains himself in conflict resolution techniques will be able to resolve such conflicts effectively at the workplace.
Below are some techniques which can help you manage conflicts effectively:
Anticipate: Remember conflicts are part of human relationships. Observe the signs of a conflict arising well before it actually arises and prepare solutions to handle it. This will help avoid unnecessary problems with co-workers or employees and safeguard productive working hours.
Practice Neutral Language: Try your best to communicate in neutral language while you are interacting with your co-workers or employees. Avoid phrases such as, “You’re not doing your project correctly.” Instead, use impartial language while expressing your feelings or reporting any matter that troubles you. The best way to express would be, “Is there any need to work in this manner? Do you need assistance in your job?”
Analyze Conflicts: While dealing with a conflict, analyze its worth beforehand. Sometimes, it’s best to avoid a discussion or avoid resolving a conflict if it does not hinder one’s job performance or have a minute impact on running a business.
Good Listener: While resolving a conflict, it’s important to lend an ear to your co-workers. Try to understand a problem according to your employee’s perspective and feelings. As often as possible, give positive feedback and pose open-ended questions. This helps to trigger a productive conversation. This will assure your co-worker or employee that you are keen to resolve a conflict rather than try to isolate him.
Find a Solution: The ultimate goal of resolving a workplace conflict is to arrive at a solution. Provide infinite number of options to resolve the problem. Also, ask your employee’s opinion regarding the best solution to the problem at hand. Sometimes, compromise to make them know that you are willing to solve the problem.
Ideally, you can implement a tool which helps meet a particular situation requirement and resolves a problem, respects the interest of the person involved and mends a damaged work relationship.
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