Unfortunately, dealing with conflict is part and parcel of a supervisor’s role. There are lots of reasons why conflict may arise at the workplace but the quicker you learn to deal with it, the easier it will be to move on from it.
If a conflict between staff members is starting to affect productivity, there are some conflict resolution tactics that can help you to manage it. Take a look at some of the following suggestions.
What Causes Conflict?
Before you can resolve conflict, you have to understand why it’s happening. There are several common reasons for conflict happening in the workplace. It could be that colleagues are noticing one person slacking during working hours.
It may be that your manager is trying to micromanage everything rather than allowing people to do their jobs properly. Is one of your employees feeling harassed or left out? The problem may not always be obvious but it’s important to get to the bottom of it.
1. Set Up Lines of Communication
In order to avoid conflict, lines of communication should always remain open. The people you work with should know that they can always come to you with a concern before it becomes a conflict.
Similarly, employees should be able to communicate with other employees when they feel there’s a problem. If the people you work with can communicate with each other in a friendly and diplomatic way, you won’t have to step in.
2. Do Not Take Sides
It can be difficult to remain unbiased when it comes to resolving conflict. However, your employees need to know that you won’t take sides when they come to you for advice.
If everyone feels like they’ve had a fair hearing and you’re willing to listen, the problem will be quickly resolved. Your aim should be to get employees to compromise and keep working relationships intact.
3. Learn to Be a Mediator
There may be times when you have to mediate between two or more people. You may need to learn how to tactfully relay messages without causing offence and re-engage employees in their work. Putting yourself in the middle of a conflict can be stressful, especially if it’s a situation that’s not easily resolved.
You’ll need to learn how to leave your work behind when you go home, so these conflicts don’t affect your home life. You may also benefit from training in conflict management in the workplace which covers everything from discussion to self-defence.
Getting Conflict Resolution Tactics Right
Of course, the best way to avoid having to use conflict resolution tactics is to build a team that’s willing to work towards a common goal. Whether it’s increasing employee engagement or implementing employee benefits, it goes a long way towards avoiding conflict.