13 May 2016
The workplace is a fairly common place for conflict to exist because it is an environment which works to put together individuals with various temperaments and behaviours in one location. Where differing views and opinions exist, conflict is bound to occur. It is a part of every communication encounter.
It is always important to know the proper way to handle workplace conflict. The following guidelines will help you handle conflict in the workplace:
1. Talk with the other person: Conflict arises as a result of a gap or a fault in the communication process. To deal with whatever led to the conflict, it is important to discuss the issues with the other party.
2. Focus on behavior and events, not on personalities: During a conflict, try not to focus on the other party as a cause of the conflict, rather, focus on the event or behaviour that led to the conflict. Deal with the event not the person.
3. Listen carefully: Listening is a good way to handle conflict effectively. Try to listen to the other party’s view or opinion to understand their position.
4. Identify points of agreement and disagreement: There will always be some points you agree with in the conflict. Identify those positions as well as those you don’t agree with and aim to tackle those things.
5. Prioritize the areas of conflict: Conflict usually begets conflict. Most times, there are usually underlying causes to conflict. To deal with it effectively, compartmentalize the areas causing conflict and deal with them one at a time.
6. Develop a plan to work on each conflict: Workplace conflict cannot be resolved at once. It is a gradual process that the two parties must be willing to work through with a consistent plan.
7. Follow through on your plan: The two parties must be willing to follow through with the plan to handle the conflict effectively.
Poorly handled conflict can result in low efficiency at work and reduced effectiveness. Learning to handle conflict in the workplace will make you a better employee and also a better colleague.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.