How to Handle a Dispute at Your Workplace
Six Tips for Handling Disputes
- Do not try to avoid conflict or pretend it has never happened. Tension will increase over time, and it will only get worse. These uncomfortable issues must be addressed immediately to avoid problems and negative feelings becoming ingrained in your daily work routine.
- Encourage employees to resolve conflicts between them. It’s a great time to improve interdepartmental communication when there is conflict between two teams. You should address a disagreement with your employee privately and head-on.
- Clarifying the source of conflict is the first step to resolving it. Understanding the root cause of conflict will help you understand why it started. If a mutually acceptable solution is not possible, take decisions that are fair and understandable. It is important to keep to the facts and not allow personal agendas or feelings to influence the outcome.
- A mutual win is the only way to deal with workplace conflict. This results in de-escalation and new ground. The opposite side of conflict will be treated as an enemy. This makes it impossible to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.
- Each conflict has its sides. Listen carefully to each side before you decide how to end a conflict. Listening carefully is a great way to manage conflict. It allows you to validate other’s ideas and lets them know that you are being heard, no matter how you feel. Both sides should present their ideas. You should not interrupt the other group. The presentation of ideas doesn’t have to be about who is right, but rather about listening carefully to both sides. These seemingly opposite ideas may be combined to produce a better outcome, but your team and you won’t realise it until everyone starts to listen to each other.
- You can resolve any conflict that arises at work by taking steps to solve it. It is important to pinpoint the source of the conflict and to calmly discuss solutions.
Communicate the Dispute
Communication and understanding are the main causes of many conflicts. It is better to express your differences in opinions immediately and in a civilised manner than to allow anger and resentment to lead to conflict.
It is normal to want to avoid conflict. However, this can only make it more difficult to resolve. Allow yourself and others to let the conflict cool down. Talk calmly and in an agreeable way when managing conflict.
Use neutral language to separate the problem from the person. To avoid making the other person feel attacked, it is better to use “I” language instead of “you”. Saying “I feel undervalued at my job” will be more effective than “You don’t value my work.” The use of “you” language will only make the other person defensive. This is not good for conflict resolution.
You should not underestimate the power and importance of tone and body language, 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.
What should you do if you’re involved?
There are many steps you can take to resolve a workplace dispute. Although it is a good idea to contact Human Resources, it may prove difficult to do so if the dispute involves a higher-ranking employee. For help, consult a workplace dispute attorney if you’re unsure.
It is important to choose the right time to meet. Conflict can quickly escalate and it is best to avoid it from continuing. However, if it happens too quickly without allowing people to calm down, it could lead to increased tensions which could result in an escalation. The problem must be addressed calmly by all parties.
Dispute Handling Summary
Conflicts in the workplace can arise between coworkers, within entire departments, and between supervisors, their supervisees, etc. Some conflicts are temporary, while others can last a lifetime.
These conflicts can be complicated and difficult to understand. However, understanding the root cause of the conflict is crucial in order to prevent it from happening again. Communication is key. Both sides must listen.