Important role of conflict resolution at work
Employers need to have effective conflict resolution strategies and policies. A poorly managed conflict can cause serious damage to your business. However, a well-managed conflict will save you time, money, and improve your coworkers’ relationships. You can make a crisis into a positive discussion by having the right communication strategies.
6 ways to solve workplace conflicts through communication
- Openly and immediately address issues: You must act quickly when there is a conflict among your team members. Accept conflict and move towards resolution immediately, rather than avoiding it or trying to ignore it.
- Set clear expectations: Management of expectations is one of the most important aspects of a team to foster better communication.
- Clearly define and express what you or your coworkers need from one another.
- Develop active listening skills: While you may be listening to what your colleagues say, are you really hearing them? When others speak, people’s minds can wander and they don’t fully absorb the information. It’s easy to forget what you read in digital communications.
- Use neutral language and use open body language: It is normal to want to avoid conflict. However, this can only hamper the chances of a resolution. Allow yourself and others to let the conflict cool down. Talk calmly and in an agreeable way when managing conflict. Be mindful of your body language and tone, in addition to carefully choosing your words. It is often not what is being said, but how it is being said, that causes conflict to escalate further. To show your willingness to end the conflict and come to an agreement, use open body language. People are inclined to imitate others, so it can help you elicit calm and open behaviour from those involved in the conflict.
- Respect and recognise individual differences. Colleagues can get into arguments over opposing views, work styles, and behaviours. Conflicting personalities can be the cause of many problems in your team. Learn to recognise the differences in how you see a situation.
Effective communication is key to resolving conflicts
Conflict is a human phenomenon, regardless of whether we like it or not. There is a high likelihood that conflict will occur when people interact with one another.
What can you do to respond to conflict?
Are you afraid of conflict or do you prefer to avoid it? You may believe that all disagreements will end badly if you have painful childhood memories or are in a bad relationship. Conflict may be seen as something you fear, humiliating or demoralising. Conflict can even be traumatising if you have had difficult childhood experiences that left you feeling helpless or out of your control.
Fear of conflict can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s difficult to manage conflict situations when you feel threatened. Instead, you are more likely to shut down or explode in anger.
Rejection, isolation, shame, and fear of abandonment can be caused by the withdrawal of love. The ability to forgive and forget and to move on from conflict without resentments and anger.
Your ability to resolve conflicts successfully is a key factor in your ability to:
You can manage stress quickly and remain alert and calm. You can read and understand nonverbal and verbal communication by staying calm.
You can control your emotions and behaviour. You can communicate your needs and feelings without intimidating, threatening, or punishing others when you are in control of your emotions.
You need to master and practice these core skills in order to resolve conflict.
Stress relief in a flash: The ability to relieve stress quickly.
Emotional awareness is the ability to be in touch with your emotions and react constructively to an attack.
What are the steps to take to address this issue?
- Accept the ground rules.
- Find a suitable space for discussion.
- Be specific about your needs.
- Flexibility is key to solving the problem.
- Find a solution that is both beneficial to the mentor and the student.
Who should act as mediator?
The mediator should be impartial and neutral and whose judgement both mentor and mentee respect. The third party could be a friend, mentor, or advisor. However, the mediator should be senior to the mentor and the mentee, and have administrative or supervisory control over them both, as is the case with a division chair or chief.
Mentor and mentee must always talk openly about the issues at hand, and listen actively to each other.
For more advice and help on Communicating conflict, call our team as we have multiple training modules and options for tailored sessions that we can deliver onsite.