In the working world, disputes and differences between employees are inevitable and managing this conflict often falls to the office managers or employer. Conflict resolution is an important skill that all managers should master and which can mean the difference between a productive and healthy workspace, or one that is disrupted by poor teamwork and negative interactions. If left unresolved, this conflict can destroy morale, disrupt your productivity and potentially lead to high turnover.
If you’re in charge at your workplace, it’s critical that you understand and know how to manage these issues- whether petty squabbles or serious disputes, it’s vital that you manage and control the issue at hand. Here are 5 top tips to manage conflict in any workplace:
- Let people tell their side of the story
This may sometimes seem counterproductive, but it’s important to let people get their story out and voice their concerns. Allowing people to speak their mind might lead to increased conflict, but it will allow you to understand their mindset, the issue at hand and how to turn it around to ensure a peaceful resolution.
- Understand boundaries
Conflict can easily get out of hand if you don’t know the boundaries and limitations of your employees. It’s vital to understand how your employees work, what they respond to and how they deal with conflict.
- Respect differences
People are different, and every employee will have their own way of managing their work. Rather than impose your own opinions and work style on your employees, try to understand their perspective.
- Be clear and fair
When handling workplace confrontations, it is valuable to remain objective and neutral. Avoid personal comments and compare employees – this can easily escalate the problem.
- Confront the issue
Don’t be afraid to dive in and directly discuss the problem at hand. Being a leader often means doing the tough jobs most people dislike doing. By handling the issue, you are preventing the dissonance from growing further or causing more disruption.
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