Efficiently managing conflict is perhaps the hardest thing that a manager has to do. However, there is one fact surrounding conflict at workplace—leadership and conflict management goes hand in hand.
Conflicts are but a part and parcel of workplace and are unavoidable. In fact, recent research indicates that nearly 85% employees experience workplace conflict. Needless to say that workplace conflicts have long-lasting repercussions and often leads to stress among employees. Therefore, conflict management is something that needs to be addressed seriously and dealt with in a very strategic manner.
But, what creates conflict at workplace? Opposing positions, power struggles, ego, pride, competitive tensions, performance discrepancies, jealousy, compensation issues, just someone having a bad day and the like. Researches however, have found out two major reasons that generally leads to conflict at workplace. These comprise the following:
Reflecting upon the reasons as to why conflicts arise at workplace, it has been found that lack of proper communication, miscommunication and lack of information are the main reasons that leads to workplace conflicts.
The next thing that leads to workplace conflict is the fact that individuals are often influenced by emotions and overwhelmed by them. Letting emotions drive decisions in office, often triggers conflicts.
Emotions—the very bane of human existences, will always create gaps in thinking and philosophy, and no matter how much we all wish it wasn’t so…it is. So the question then arises how to effectively address conflict management. It is essential for organizational health and performance that conflict be accepted and addressed through effective conflict resolution processes.
Dealing with conflict at workplace
So, what are the essential steps towards conflict management? How do organizations should address conflicts? Observe the following points. Here’s a look:
Define acceptable behaviour: The first step towards addressing conflict management is describing acceptable behaviour. As an organization, always ensure that you successfully define behaviours – as to what is acceptable and what not. Create a framework for decision-making, encourage sound business practices in collaboration, and also encourage proper talent management. This will gradually ensure that conflict management is somewhat under control. Clearly and publicly outline corporate behaviour and make it clear, what will be accepted and what not.
Hit conflict head-on: While it is very difficult to avoid conflict, probably the best way to hit conflict management head-on. Organizations can actually seek put areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive way, you are likely to ensure conflict management in a much better fashion. And, if a conflict at all flairs up, you will be able to reduce its severity considerably by taking it head-on.
Conflict management happens to be an essential part of the corporate world. Therefore, creating a culture of trust within an organization is of high significance. The human resources department must be empowered conveniently in order to handle all kinds of conflicts that arises as and when, within the workplace.
Welcome dissent. Managers should always be encouraged to welcome dissent that is focused on tasks, mission and of course strategies. Sometimes conducting a retreat with an outside facilitator can be the best way to get beyond subtle surface conversations.
Create diverse teams. Create work teams whose members have diverse expertise, ways of thinking, working and of course executing tasks assigned to them. Appointing a rotating devil’s advocate can be good idea. Also remember to create accountability and encourage employees to solve organizational conflicts on their own.
On a final note, it can be said that, turning the other cheek around can ensure proper conflict management. Compromise, compassion, empathy, being an active listener can help build a strong, long-lasting rapport.
However, when all else fails and positional gaps cannot be closed, resolve the issue not by playing favorites, but by taking the right actions.