One of the most destructive problems at work is a conflict among employees.
When an argument breaks out between one or more colleagues, this often interferes with work, as individuals focus on personal issues rather than spend their time working.
Even if the team members do try to do their jobs, they have a hard time collaborating with those they are experiencing the conflict with.
Oftentimes, managers have to step in and help their subordinates resolve the conflict. The guide below will provide advice on how to do so.
Don’t Avoid Conflict – Many people do not like dealing with conflict; the tension and possible hurt feelings associated with it make them uncomfortable, which leads them ignore it. While it is reasonable for supervisors to provide employees with some times in the hopes that they will solve their problems on their own, eventually, if no resolution occurs, a manager must step in. Without any intervention, the conflict can simply get worse, creating chaos and bad energy in the office. It’s important to remember that a positive conflict resolution can actually lead to improved interaction and mutual understanding at work.
Meet With Employees Individually – It is important to give each individual that is involved in the conflict a chance to speak his or her mind freely. Therefore, managers should first sit down with each employee for a one-on-one chat. Give that person the time to speak about what is going on from his or her perspective, why he or she is hurt, and what can be done to remedy the issue. Then, meet with the parties in a group setting to try and resolve the problem and reach an amicable solution.
Treat Each Situation Differently – Certain managers create an office culture where conflicts are not tolerated. Their approach to a resolution is to demand that staff members shake hands and move on. Others ask their subordinates to come up with an amicable compromise that will make all the parties involved happy. However, a cookie-cutter solution cannot be applied to all the cases of conflict, as each situation requires an individual solution. For example, if one employee is clearly in the wrong, offending a colleague that wronged party cannot be made to compromise. The offending party needs to understand what he or she did wrong and apologise.
Office conflict should never be swept under the rug and ignored.
Managers need to be in charge of fostering an open communication space where employees feel free to express their emotions and grievances if they feel hurt or violated in any way.
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