Using Communication To Resolve Conflict
What is Conflict?
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 causes conflict at work?
Poor communication is often the root cause of workplace conflict. Although there are many reasons for it, they can all be caused by poor communication. Employee expectations might not be clearly communicated to employees, or employees may feel like they have no voice (lacks open dialogue), and the tone of words could be misinterpreted. Miscommunication can lead to many problems, regardless of the reason. However, it is possible to mitigate the problem with the right skills and policies.
There will be disagreements between employees from time to another. Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, whether it’s a miscommunication over who did what, an argument about ideas, or a conflict between personal relationships. Your company’s success can depend on how you manage these conflicts. Employers, managers, HR directors, and employees can learn a variety of communication strategies to resolve workplace conflicts creatively.
If employees don’t learn skills and strategies to manage conflict, interpersonal conflict will be a part of every relationship. A few sessions with a trainer in communication might be beneficial if one or both of your conflicts are difficult to resolve.
These are five methods to solve conflict and improve coworker relationships through better communication.
- Immediately address issues and speak up.
- Set clear expectations
- Develop active listening skills
- Use neutral language and open body language.
- Respect and recognise individual differences.
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.
- Be aware of the emotions and words spoken by others.
- Respect and be aware of differences. Avoiding disrespectful words or actions will almost always solve a problem quicker.
These two skills can be learned:
- 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.
Communication is important
Active listening is about being attentive to the words and thoughts of others. It’s a skill that salespeople use to connect with customers better during pitching, but it’s also something every professional should have.
Active listening is best practiced with an open mind and open ears. Take note of how the other person is speaking. Next, use the same words to respond. This shows that you were listening and clarifies any confusion. Also, ask questions if you are unclear about a point. Instead of focusing on the goals of the other person, focus on your own.
Reflective listening helps you to hear and understand the meaning of what the other person is saying.
Problem solving skills are essential for forming precise problem statements, clarifying problems and facilitating the solution of others. These skills include transferable.
It can be tempting to bring up old conflicts that are related when you’re dealing with your current issues. It’s more practical to deal with all the issues at once, and have it all discussed while you are dealing with one issue.
This can cloud the topic and make it less likely that there will be mutual understanding and a solution. It also makes the discussion more difficult and confusing. Avoid bringing up past hurts and other topics. Focus on the present and your feelings. Understand one another. Find a solution.
Communication is an essential part of conflict resolution. You probably already know that saying the wrong thing can lead to a worse conflict. It is important to communicate what you are thinking in a clear, assertive manner without being defensive or aggressive.
Communication skills can be used to build relationships, not tear them apart with anger, words, and actions. Communication is about respect, grace and empathy. Active listening adds value for the listener. Communication skills that are poor, disagreements and misunderstandings may lead to anger, distance, or even a rise in happiness and success.
These tips will help you create positive outcomes next time you deal with conflict. To learn more about our communication or conflict courses please browse our training library here.