Here’s the truth – you cannot win a conflict in the workplace. Sure, you may get the other person to back off, but if the underlying issue is not resolved, the issue continues to fester, till it gets worse. It is much better to resolve a conflict in the workplace than to win it. When a conflict remains unresolved, it results in bitterness, antagonism, breakdown in communications, stress and loss of productivity in the workplace. The tips and tricks given here will help resolve workplace conflict.
Tip #1: Address the Issue Early, before it Escalates
If one of the members of your team working on a project fails to perform as they should, and you suspect a lack of effort on their part, you should make it a point to address the issue as early as possible, and take measures to ensure that you and your co-worker are on the same page. The best way to deal with a workplace conflict is to nip it in the bud, have a productive discussion and resolve the matter immediately.
Tip #2. Be Calm, and Treat your co-worker with Respect
Often in the workplace, a co-worker takes credit for your ideas. Rather than complain about this publicly and make your anger at this public, take a deep breath, and calm down. Don’t assume the worst of your co-worker, treat them with respect. Talk to them calmly in a neutral place; state your concerns with all the objectivity you can muster. Be respectful, never raise your voice during the interaction and yes, don’t approach the meeting with a negative feeling. There is no reason why your co-worker won’t see your point of view and the conflict will be naturally resolved.
Tip #3. Be Prepared Listen to the other person’s Perspective.
One of the primary reasons for conflict in the workplace is that we get so caught up with our point of view that we fail to understand the other person’s perspective – we even refuse to listen to them. It’s important to understand that there are two sides to every conflict. You may disagree with a co-worker’s point of view, but you would only be doing yourself a lot of disservice if you fail to give them a patient hearing. Discuss the conflict calmly with your co-worker, and arrive at a mutual decision on how to solve it before it gets any worse. In fact, you should even ask them to suggest a solution to end the conflict. This would calm the other person down and they would think hard to arrive at a resolution that is acceptable to you as much as it is to them.
Tip #4. Take Responsibility for your Actions
What is your role in the conflict? Is it possible that you are at fault for the conflict? Sure, your co-worker may have escalated it, but it is possible that you started it in the first place. Maybe you started a gossip about your co-worker and it spread like wildfire, because of which he or she has confronted you angrily. Now, you can choose to respond in anger – which would make matters worse – or you can take responsibility for your actions, apologize, take steps to make amends and simply move on. If you are sincere enough, the conflict will be solved easily.
Tip #5. Organize a Staff-meeting to Resolve an Issue
If you’re upset about something about a co-worker, such as bad personal habits at the workplace that you are too embarrassed to talk to him or her about directly, call a staff meeting and address the issue in general, without pointing at the person specifically. This will surely make them understand and take steps to rectify the situation.