Dealing with conflict in the workplace is never easy. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier on yourself. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing the blame game which will get you nowhere. In this post, we’ll look at five different things you can do to navigate workplace conflict.
1. Define The Problem
Clear communication starts with cleaning defining the problem. Before taking any steps to resolve the conflict, make sure you have your facts laid out. Identify what the problem is, who the involved parties are, and areas where the problem is causing a negative impact.
Clarity is essential in the resolution process. Taking the time to define the problem helps you avoid making things personal. It also gives you the opportunity to approach the conflict from a work perspective which is more likely to be well received. Defining the problem will help you identify needs which can lead to solutions. This approach enables you to avoid making a decision based on who’s “right” or “wrong.”
2. Give The Other Party A Chance To Handle The Conflict 1on1
Depending on the severity of the problem, it’s often a good idea to try and solve things one on one. Try and address problems as early as possible, not after they have a chance to fester. At the same time, it’s important to wait long enough to give both parties a chance to cool down.
A lot of times conflict stems from people not feeling heard. When discussing the issue one on one you can ask the other party to share a solution. Considering multiple approaches is key to finding a solution. Asking the person you have a conflict with to share their ideas helps them feel heard and less hostile about the situation.
3. Try And Stay Positive
Conflict can make going to work draining, but maintaining a positive attitude will help you a lot. Even if you feel angry, showing anger is only going to backfire on you. Maintaining a positive attitude makes it easy to keep your emotions under control and ask questions rather than accusing. This is one way you can make going to work during conflict easier.
4. Consult With An Employment Lawyer To Figure Out Your Options
If the conflict is severe, it’s always a good idea to discuss your options with an employment lawyer. Discussing your options with an employment lawyer is a good idea any time the conflict turns violent, sexist or racial. Figuring out your options is the smart thing to do before taking any drastic actions.
Employment lawyers have a ton of legal experience to help you build your case. Precedent is an essential aspect of employment law since workplace conflict situations can vary so much. By referring to previous cases and unique situations they have dealt with, your employment lawyer can help establish a persuasive argument.
5. Find Your Role In The Conflict
It’s highly unlikely that the other party is entirely to blame for the conflict. It’s important to consider your behavior and where you may have gone wrong. Taking responsibility for your actions can help move the conflict resolution forward. Admitting fault also allows you and the person you’re having a problem with to save face and preserve your working relationship.
In addition to finding your role in the conflict, try and understand things from the other person’s perspective. You may be misinterpreting their behavior as something malicious when they may just not know any better. Sharpening your listening skills, asking questions to clarify and genuinely wanting to understand will stop the conflict from escalating.