7 Easy Steps To Conflict Resolution at Workplace
Conflict is the most basic and ordinarily recurrent issue that remains central to the atmosphere of every competitive workplace, no matter the depth of spirited collaborative approach that the company boasts of having instilled among its employees.
It points to a simple reality of life that says, "where there are humans, there is a conflict."
It is much easier to anticipate the forms it takes in environments designed to bring the best out of folks, such as educational institutions and workplaces. Every once in a while, it is reported to handle many hideous forms that threaten the organisation's shared goals and the psychological and physical health of the parties involved.
So without a compelling and detailed conflict-resolution process, it is doubtful to address the poisonous forms it may potentially undertake, such as inter-departmental politics and meritless groupings among the employees to target someone they mutually resent.
Let's first see what are the accused, infamous origins that give birth to this illegitimate child of competition, namely the conflict.
One of the most highlighted origins of conflict is the influential position responsible for many critical decisions; it is why they enjoy over most of the other employees under the influence of dominion. The abuse of power pushes the boundary of inner friction among the would-be enemies.
b) Relationship with People in Influential positions
According to the analysis of the perspectives of most of the parties, things that come to light are the lust for promotion and the overexpansion of control through other folks. People like to be unnecessarily friendly and social with many influential people in the organisation, leading to the same abuse of power we highlighted earlier.
c) The personality of the people
It is a psychological reality of life that people tend to be a lot diverse in their liking, disliking, cultural background, and other personality aspects underlying how they behave with others.
It is a chief source of conflict as the interests collide and one thing leads to another. Acceptance of others makes this disappear quickly.
Importance of conflict resolution
Managers must resolve conflicts in order to create a pleasant, comfortable workplace for all employees. Managing disputes promptly and successfully shows employees that you care about their well-being and the company’s good culture. Among the advantages of resolving conflict are:
- Workplace disruptions are minimised
- Increasing efficiency
- Higher projects' success rates
- Reduced absenteeism
- Employee retention
- Reduced termination rate
- Increased productivity, performance and motivation
- More effective management
- Building effective working partnerships
- Increased trust
- Improve workplace communication, teamwork, and efficiency
So here's how we can solve this problem.
6 Steps to Conflict-Resolution at work
1. Providence of a Good Environment and Efficient Mediating
Things that hinder devising a solution to ending a conflict generally tend to originate from mediators' or supervisors' inability to grasp the depth of perspectives from each side.
They lack the control in providing a trustworthy environment that will effortlessly invoke both parties to open up about how they felt and where do they point to the probable origin of the conflict.
The manifestation of any such control needs to be expertly done to avoid direct attacks from both parties. Such supreme delicacy will also turn the oppositions into good listeners, and they will be paying more attention to how their opponent feels.
Once under the influence of this technique, it will be much easier for the mediator to clarify the actual disagreement and where precisely the collision of interests occurred.
Leadership training is a lot important because it helps find the best mediators and supervisors in the company.
Read between the lines.
Misunderstanding one particular detail or something deemed completely trivial by both parties could eventually be the actual cause of the whole problem.
As a mediator, you are advised to thoroughly explore the subject and ask the relevant questions that might pop up during listening to them. Oftentimes, such is the case that a very trivial mistake from one party, which could've been corrected at that point without much problem, lies at the bottom of the problem that has now become a mountain because of subsequent indifference shown towards each other and the hostility that kept on growing with time.
Such ignorance often reaches the point where both parties develop significant anger and irritation towards each other. They usually delight in pushing the boundaries outward and allow themselves more reasons to feel hostile and angry toward each other.
If you pay close attention to both parties' entire speech, you might find an unaddressed aspect of the problem that could be the actual origin.
2. Requesting Solutions from each side
It is an important step that can give you a deeper insight into how serious both parties are in coming to a mutual resolution that won't offend any.
In most cases, we rarely see both parties even entertaining the idea of coming to a resolution all by themselves due to the degree of anguish they feel towards each other.
Their solutions are windows into their souls, and how sincerely do they stand in a position that justifies itself to be a position of being less faulty and more suitable.
Request both parties to present a solution and how they see a probable end to this conflict. Take note of what they say and how much of a sacrifice as to their original narrative of the problem are they willing to make.
3. Coming to a Common Ground
The preceding step will help devise a more likely solution to be readily accepted by both parties. These parties might be high performing team members (HPTM) and hold a vital role in the company.
In coming to a common ground, we need to see the things both parties seemed to adhere to while presenting their respective solutions and what particular details they avoided or excluded. You'll know how both think and feel about this specific problem. The overlapping area of interest will help you determine the solution as such factors will heavily determine the crux of a potentially agreed-upon solution.
Besides that, you are expected to question the disagreements that were established in the first step. Here you'll have to ask for the mutual sacrifice both parties have to make for each other and the organisation. Eventually, if they see a compromise from both sides, they are more likely to give up on something deemed harmful to the organisation. Our solutions must reflect a goal that profits not just the organisation but also both parties.
4. Establishing ways to reach the common goal
Once the common goal is established, it is equally necessary to come up with a strategy to adhere to the core aspects of the plan.
Before the conflict resolution, a particular task was done in a way known to every employee. The ambiguities pertaining to the task were the bare minimum because everyone knew how to cope with the adversity of the task. After conflict resolution, we are expected to have a newer strategy for performing a particular task, which means further and clear steps have to be devised to carry out the same task that used to be performed differently.
It is one of the instances in which we feel the need to develop a newer plan to do the tasks and keep the company in a running state.
5. Addressing the obstacles to the common goal
On some occasions, you are expected to hit the wall regarding implementing the newer strategy or a common goal because specific issues stand in the way of tackling the problem right away.
To make reconciliation with this fact, we need to be ready to tackle such problems because it is necessary to let not stand anything in the way.
For example, a photocopier was used according to a different schedule. Still, according to a new strategy, the schedule must be tweaked significantly, which might mean depriving a few of the facility at certain hours. The definitive adjustments have to be made in providing such folks with the facility so that they can carry on with their work.
It is a straightforward instance of addressing any such barrier.
6. Establish the responsibilities of each party
Once everything stands in the way of devising a helpful solution is curated and put in place for the plan to work coherently, you need to underline the responsibilities each party has in adhering to the newer goals and preventing any such conflicts in the future.
Because both of these aspects are utterly necessary. They adhere to the new principles and carry out the plan to grow the company more but somehow sideline the responsibility of preventing the conflict. Everything would probably reset to square one, and new efforts would be required to form a new pact.
In the same way, if the latter is practised and the former is forgotten, there'd be a new set of problems requiring immediate addressing.
Conflicts must not deject the top-tier authorities because they are the signs of a competitive environment brewing, and only a courageous step in the direction of resolution would help the cause. Positive conflict outcomes reduce performance bottlenecks and help firms to fulfil corporate objectives more quickly, giving organisations that have mastered the art of conflict resolution a competitive advantage.