Any workplace will have conflict. It is unavoidable. There will inevitably be some issues with a diverse group of individuals operating under pressure.
It is not important that there is conflict; what is important is that managers have a plan in place to deal with it if it starts to affect the firm. While disagreement can be a creative catalyst that spurs team competition and increases productivity, it can also easily explode out of control and put an end to everything.
But how do you diffuse a circumstance that is fuelled by rage and other strong emotions that do not respond to reasoned discussion? There are approaches, but it’s not simple. Here are 10 ways to deal with conflict.
1. Describe appropriate conduct
By establishing a standard of conduct at work, you can minimise or even completely avoid possible issues before they even have a chance to arise. The team will define what is and isn’t appropriate if you give them the freedom to.
However, it is your duty as a manager to establish the tone. Writing detailed job descriptions, developing a discussion framework, identifying the hierarchy and who is in charge of what, establishing suitable business procedures, deciding which project management tools to employ, assisting with team building and leadership development are all ways you may achieve this. The more rules you establish, the better the team will be able to follow them.
2. Don't Shy Away From Conflict
There are various ways you can handle conflict at work, depending on the type of management and person you are. One option is to ignore it and let the parties resolve it on their own. The worst course of action is not necessarily this. Teams need to be able to work together, and one of the tools they’ll need for that is dispute resolution.
However, it’s a mistake if you avoid conflict since it makes you uncomfortable or because you don’t want to chastise someone. Of course, handling such issues is your responsibility as a manager. When necessary, you should use your power to take action. If this isn’t done, the conflict will merely gain momentum and escalate into a fight which will have a much worse effect on business.
3. Decide on a Neutral Area
Changing the environment is one of the initial steps in resolving any problem. People get angry, and that anger frequently has a geographic origin. It may sound strange, but simply removing the disputing parties from the room will assist put the situation in perspective.
Then, in order to end the argument, you should take the irate parties to a neutral area. A neutral setting will first calm the situation down enough for a productive discourse to take place. Second, by arranging a meeting outside of the office where there isn’t necessarily a power dynamic, you are more likely to establish a welcoming environment where you can effectively address whatever the problem was.
4. Commence with a compliment
You can deal with the issue once you’ve left the area where the conflict first started. But you shouldn’t enter a conversation with an insulting manner right away. It’s your responsibility to consider all arguments before reaching an executive choice based on the available information and the task at hand. Therefore, start by complementing someone to make them feel at ease enough to speak. There is neither a good guy nor a terrible guy here, you want to demonstrate. You’re going for the issue rather than the individual.
5. Avoid drawing hasty conclusions
Any disagreement usually has deeper roots than first meet the eye. It’s best to hold off on drawing any conclusions at first in order to treat everyone involved fairly. Give everyone the chance to voice their opinion, even if you believe the conflict to be evident. learn about the relevant history. You shouldn’t make any assumptions about other people. As a silent investigator would, gather your evidence before making your decision.
6. Consider Opportunities Rather Than Punishments
Despite the fact that some confrontations will necessitate resolution, the majority are just started by passionate individuals approaching a topic from contrasting angles. The potential to educate or learn also presents itself when disagreements occur, it is a fact. Being a manager requires recognising these disagreements as an opportunity to address previously unrecognised issues with team dynamics.
7. Offer advice rather than solutions
Consider not immediately correcting the error while dealing with disagreement in your workplace. That implies that there might be an obvious cause for the disagreement and an as simple solution to get everyone back on the same page and working effectively.
You’re the group’s leader; you’re not taking sides in their disagreements. The best course of action is to get the team to resolve the disagreement as a unit. Since they are too emotionally invested to observe, you will need to spend more time guiding them to the outcome you envision.
8. Complimentary criticism
There are numerous strategies available in any battle, some more important than others. However, when something is obviously incorrect, criticism is the only appropriate response. However, the people you are criticising are the same ones you will work with tomorrow, next week, and so on. How do you critique without offending others so that you may still lead effectively?
Constructive criticism can help with this. It’s a strategy that enables you to name the problem, assign blame, and support the good work that has already been done. You provide direction so that the issue can be resolved. No one is bitter, and the team now has the means to prevent it from happening again.
9. Do Not Threaten
You have power because you are a manager. Avoid misusing it. Although forcing people to take the right course can seem like the easiest solution, this is not long-term thinking. The only thing the team ever learns from this is to fear you. As a result, they won’t come to you for help when things start to go wrong, keeping you in the dark until it may be too late to fix the problem. Therefore, take the time to resolve your conflict in a way that will prevent it from arising again the following day.
10. Make a decision
Keep in mind that effective dispute resolution requires time. After going through that procedure, though, it’s time to act, and you should act quickly.
Don’t delay making the choice and leave the team waiting. It creates a negative precedent for your leadership. You risk losing the power you need to lead because you’re creating a gap at the top that will be filled by thoughts other than your own. So, after making a decision, follow through with it. Even if some people don’t like it, they will at least understand your position.