The ability to identify, assess and ideally resolve conflicts is critically important for all businesses. What is the reason for this? Simply put, conflict between people is common in any situation, such as office jobs or fieldwork. While we choose our friends and acquaintances, we generally don’t choose who we work with.
Learning how to identify and handle interpersonal conflicts, reconcile emotions, and reach a consensus where possible are important skills that can improve productivity, culture and the general well-being -all of these skills are acquired by resolving conflicts.
Before we discuss the importance of building skills and awareness regarding conflict resolution, it is important to first address this question: "What is conflict resolution?"
Conflict resolution is the process of identifying, assessing and ideally settling the disruption at work, between two or more employees. It often involves negotiating an agreement that satisfies all the parties involved. Since conflict is a fundamental aspect of human existence, effective conflict resolution isn't designed to prevent disagreements. Instead, workplace conflict resolution helps facilitate discussions, improve understanding, manage emotional reactions and deliver where possible positive outcomes for the individuals involved and the business.
It is vital to work to encourage a happy and engaged workforce. With the aid of skills in conflict resolution, you will be able to:
To create a healthy and positive work culture and environment, a business must implement effective methods for identifying and resolving conflicts. Conflicts that are allowed to take up time and space in the workplace almost inevitably cause stress and create tension among employees, even those who are not even directly involved in an actual conflict situation. The time and energy that conflict consumes can reduce productivity and cause a decline in the level of engagement and morale. Conflict resolution in the workplace requires a clear understanding and well thought through interventions and strategies to ensure that conflict is well managed in the workplace.
Do you want to know how to resolve conflicts using strategies for conflict resolution? Here are some strategy options to consider and if appropriate apply. They can help to resolve conflicts and disputes and establish a professional well-balanced, and positive environment.
No matter how well-thought-out and organized the strategies are, conflicts cannot be resolved easily without establishing ground rules (through policies, procedures and proactive training and communication) to guide the procedure. The purpose of conflict resolution is to bring an understanding of the issues to the surface and where possible reach a consensus conclusion. A variety of reasons, including budgets, resource allocation, disagreements in the understanding of goals, organisational changes, and a myriad of other things, can trigger conflicts. The conflict could be among team members, across Sections or Departments, or between associates and supervisors.
When trying to settle an issue, heated disputes and disagreements are not uncommon. Finding a secure and private space to discuss the issue is essential to ensure that the debate is limited to the disputing parties and mediators. Establishing via policies and procedures the expected standards for discussing and zero tolerance for rude and abusive words is essential to avoid further friction between conflicting parties.
Well developed people and process skills and experience are required to effectively resolve conflicts and make those involved feel at ease. Conflict resolution in the workplace requires an open mind and knowledge of approaches to resolving concerns including and the ability to see the two sides of the situation.
The ability to listen and see both sides' points of view is essential to building trust and respecting each other's individual perspectives. The ability to empathize (as opposed to agree or disagree) is an essential element to resolve conflicts. It assists in understanding and exploring the conflict without taking sides. Listening actively makes you more aware, allowing you to observe the body language of non-verbal communication and assists you in understanding the motives behind someone's action.
After identifying all the causes and perspectives that led to the dispute, it's time to look into the circumstances. Sometimes things may look different from a superficial perspective, but looking deeper reveals a divergent picture. To resolve the issue, effective conflict resolution requires time to research and learn about the causes of the conflict. Don't conclude the assessment of the situation based on only a cursory glance.
Some conflicts are not disclosed due to pressure from other motives. An investigation into a conflict, especially from a legal point of view, will help you solve all issues in depth.
The primary goal in resolving conflicts is to reach an agreement on a common solution for all parties and to ensure that it minimizes the likelihood of future issues arising for the same reason. When working towards an agreed-upon goal, the organization’s best interests must be prioritized.
But the agreement should be clear, as simple as possible and agreed by the parties involved, or it can cause avoidable conflict later. When there is compromise and negotiation , finding a solution or resolution is made simpler, often creating a common space to find an answer to the problem. Sometimes, agreeing on an outcome means compromising to an extent.
Finding the solution to a conflict is actually realized until the agreed approach to managing and resolving the conflict is implemented. This often requires the establishment of channels for communication and a plan of action to address the identified issues.
Conflict can unfortunately be a regular occurrence at work. Handled early and properly, conflict can often lead to positive outcomes if well handled. But, negative or unresolved conflicts create tension and can reduce productivity, which can affect the overall performance of an organization. Thus, conflict management and resolution are essential elements of any organization.
By focusing on achieving an acceptable outcome for the parties in dispute, HBA Consulting's experts can cut down on the cost and time required to settle workplace conflicts and, in many cases, establish good workplace relations between the parties and avoid legal processes. Contacts us to know more.