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7 Tips on How to Manage and Resolve Conflict in the Workplace


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A workplace can at times feel like a breeding ground for conflict. It's probably inevitable to have disputes and conflicts between co-workers and teams at times. Though conflict and dispute could have negative effects, they're not always bad. Conflict can produce positive outcomes when handled correctly and create a path to positive change and resolution of problems.

Conflicts in the workplace can influence employees' attitudes, relationships, and the organisation's culture; however, it doesn't need to be this way. Does this mean that conflicts at work should be avoided? Absolutely not. Being afraid to confront workplace concerns and frustrations can cause more problems and quickly become chaos. The best solution is to accept and acknowledge conflict so it can be recognised and managed better whenever it occurs. Workplace conflict resolution can bring about a positive impact, resulting in happier employees, more productive teams, and an environment for well-being.

Causes of Conflict

What is the reason for conflict? There are often many reasons. One is that you will have people from different backgrounds, opinions, and values working together. It can be expected that everyone will get along most of the time, but sometimes these divergences can lead to conflict.

Perceived or actual lack of communication is another factor. Insufficient communication could occur among team members or, in a larger sense, between managers and their staff. Ineffective communication can lead to confusion, gossip, and bad collaboration. All of these could affect relationships between co-workers and teams and lead to distrust within the organisation.

A third cause of workplace conflicts can be competition. But a healthy amount of competition can motivate employees to improve their abilities and work more efficiently, whereas excessive or poorly controlled competition (and especially where the competition becomes personal rather than professional) could have negative consequences. For instance, employees might be tempted to sabotage or undermine each other. This can result in a hostile environment, which undermines collaboration and teamwork, and ultimately adversely affects the organisation's culture.

Managing Conflict

The seven strategies for workplace conflict resolution listed below can assist employees at any level to manage conflict better and encourage collaboration, maintain relationships, and achieve positive results.

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1. Be aware of your attitude

"Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there's one thing that could determine the difference between destroying your relationship or intensifying it. That thing is attitude." (William James)

Before you tackle a particular issue, take a moment to reflect on your mental state and attitude. Are you taking the situation in an optimistic and open-minded? Are you in defensive mode and willing to stand your ground? A change in your attitude could be the key to resolving conflicts. If you're already being defensive, you won't be able to listen to others and effectively communicate.

2. Consider the challenge as an opportunity

Conflict can be an opportunity to learn and grow at an individual and organisational level. If properly addressed, the conflict can lead to learning and creative solutions. You should ask yourself, "What can I gain out of this?" or "What improvements can I implement to improve the relationship or situation?" In changing your view of the conflict, you can act as an agent of change and assist employees in gaining empowerment, engagement, and improved productivity.

3. Let everyone express their opinions and thoughts

Before beginning with Workplace investigations all feelings and thoughts must be considered and acknowledged. Feelings of anger or hurt often occur in conflict-ridden situations. Getting them out in the open is better to allow them to be recognised before moving forward. In the absence of acknowledging them, it could cause resentment and anger.

4. Find common points to agree on

It is important to identify things that the parties to the dispute can agree on, regardless of how minor. For instance, it could be agreeing on a problem or the best way to resolve the issue. The simple act of agreeing to make small adjustments to solve the issue could bring people together.

5. Consider a mediator

Sometimes, employing an impartial third-party mediator is best to assist with discussion and resolution. Arrange mediation sessions if you cannot come up with an answer. Human resource consulting firms can help keep the conversation moving and ensure it is efficient and productive.

6. Communicate effectively

Effective communication techniques, like communicating clearly and concisely, will reduce ambiguity and confusion. However, communication isn't only about those who speak, it also involves the person listening. To communicate effectively, one must also be able to listen. Paying attention to the person speaking instead of thinking about how you will respond will allow you to fine-tune your listening abilities and enhance the overall quality of your communication. It will also help you to perform workplace investigations Sydney effectively. Additionally, eliminating distractions like computers and cellophanes will make you look at the person with a wide-eyed gaze to let them know that your focus is on them.

7. Respect and be humble

Respecting differences between colleagues and acknowledging that everyone's opinions are valued could be the defining factors that set the tone for workplace conflict resolution. If co-workers are not treated with respect, workplace conflicts will arise and negatively affect organisational culture. Furthermore, when employees of all levels display respect for others, including soliciting feedback and paying attention to the needs of other employees, work performance and engagement will improve.

Summing up

Workplace conflict resolution isn't simple and can sometimes lead to new human resource policy development. It is a win-win situation for everyone when conflicts are dealt with in a way that improves relationships, strengthens collaboration, and addresses issues with a focus on positive transformation. The trick is not to avoid conflict but to acknowledge and accept it so that all team members can learn and grow, and a human resource policy review Sydney can be performed.

HBA Consulting understands these issues and the employment, legal and policy-related requirements associated with these procedures and has a long track record of producing high-quality outcomes that all stakeholders embrace.


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