Tips For Handling Workplace Conflict – We have a few tips for handling conflicts in the workplace, especially when it’s among co-workers. It’s important to resolve these issues because they are a product of stress. Yet allowing them to build and intensify will only further impair the work environment
“By understanding the issue and taking positive action, you can help solve the problem and make your office a place where you really want to be,” Susan Lankton-Rivas, a practice leader at human resources consulting firm Insight Performance Inc., writes.
Different people have different perceptions, and solving workplace conflicts requires finding a common ground, not waiting until one person caves to the other.
Take an objective look at yourself and determine what you did or said to contribute to the situation. Try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider how the situation could be handled differently in the future.
Workplaces are diverse places, today more than ever, and what is acceptable to one person may be offensive to another. If your office has a diversity program, consider attending it, and if it doesn’t, be the catalyst who brings one to your workplace.
Before jumping to conclusions, sit down with the person with whom you’re in conflict and try to understand the issue fully. During the conversation, make sure you acknowledge his or her feelings and paraphrase their opinion back to them to enhance your comprehension.
It is important to avoid assigning blame to the person you’re speaking with, and taking note of the words you use will help you avoid falling into this trap. Try to use “I” statements that explain how you feel, and give examples of why you feel that way, according to Lankton-Rivas.
If the conflict continues to build, recruit someone in the workplace whom you respect to act as a mediator. This could be your manager, a human resources professional, or a manager from a different department.
The problem isn’t properly resolved until both parties in the argument feel better about the situation. Set guidelines for how to handle a similar situation in the future.