Conflict management is a vast territory; a big book will not be enough to instruct you in details on that matter. In this brief article, we aim only to show you what areas you need to tackle and what key steps you have to take. But you may go through some good conflict resolution trainings and get the skills most vital in your workplace. Get deeper into the theory and have enough practice, and your mediatory and conflict-managing undertakings will be really professional and successful.
Kinds And Signs Of A Conflict
Although a conflict is often portrayed as a clash over some professional matter, in reality, a conflict is everything from an employee being chronically late for work to a fistfight over the task distribution among departments.
Hence, a conflict includes:
– Work-related issues
– Interpersonal issues
– Task delegation disputes
– Excessive criticism issues
– Rudeness and disrespect of others
– Performance problems
– Psychological troubles that spill into the workspace
– Even personal body care habits or lack thereof (sorry, but it can also trigger a bloody fight in the office).
Yes, a conflict is all that and even some more, so you as a manager or head of a department have to know how to detect it and what to do. Reputable conflict resolution trainings and tips from experienced managers will help you in this initial task greatly.
Proactive Conflict Prevention
Often, it is easier to kill a conflict while it hatches and to bring peace to the workplace with minimal losses. However, to do it, you need to have certain skills and personal qualities. Luckily, you can acquire both.
1. Get to know your team really well.
2. Behave fairly and be unbiased towards every team member.
3. Do not engage in gossiping or side-taking with anyone.
4. The previous efforts will naturally lead to your ability to spot trouble early – people will feel free and safe while approaching you with complaints about the budding issue.
5. Make sure everyone knows the rules of work and expectations (sometimes people may simply overstretch the limits of flexible hours).
6. Admit openly that a conflict starts and be already to take steps to quench it.
Conflict Resolution Trainings On The Informal Way Of Conflict Management
When you learned about the conflict and determined who is involved, it is time to tackle it informally. That is, you gather people, you talk, listen and possibly find a solution that suits everyone. At any training, you will be given a situation and asked to find a solution, and then you will be presented with a proper way to do it. Good training will teach you the nuances you may miss otherwise.
The typical route of conflict settling is to gather people, ensure moderation and let them talk.
A smart and professional approach is to talk to every participant of a conflict in private first. Thus, you get the full picture, and then you let people meet at the big table and talk directly to each other.
One more nuance is that if the main offender is very aggressive or too offended, you need to separate this person from the team so that you could talk without extreme emotions.
The rest goes as usual – get the solutions and decide how they will be implemented and monitored.
Formal resolution – The Last Resort
People have the right to a safe working environment, so if the trouble spirals out of control, you either have to fire the troublemaker or face a legal suit from offended employees. Any conflict resolution trainings will tell you that, and it is also a viable solution. But hopefully, most conflicts won’t require drastic measures.