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Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

There are always going to be times when conflict arises, at work, and at home. The way that you deal with conflict in the workplace can have serious repercussions for your job, and your relationships with your co-workers. Our top 6 ideas for conflict resolution can give you an idea of where to start when dealing with conflict. Take a minute to review our helpful tips before you enter into difficult discussions, so that you can remember to stay respectful, find common ground, and move forward in a positive direction.

Top 6 Ideas

  1. Start with RESPECT. It’s always best to provide others with dignity, and respect. If you put others down they will become defensive, and it will create even more conflict. When you enter the conflict with respect, it shows others that you are willing to hear them, and it keeps the conversation more professional.
  2. Identify a common mission. Your mission may include combining your needs and theirs into one unifying purpose. Figuring out what you both need will help you decide together how to proceed towards your common goals.
  3. Listen to what they are saying. You don’t want to come to the conversation just to argue your own point-of-view. Try to eliminate your biases, and really listen to understand other people’s perspectives.
  4.  Tell your story. Remember, the stories that we tell ourselves start with pseudo-facts. This is because our facts have been filtered through our own history and perspectives, and include our emotional responses. Share the facts that represent your position, and keep in mind that others may have different stories to tell. This does not mean that one of you is necessarily wrong, you may just see it from different points-of-view.
  5. Look for common ground first. It’s helpful to begin the conflict resolution process by finding the issues upon which you both agree. Do this before working on issues where you may differ. This can diffuse some tension, and may remind you that there are more areas where you agree than disagree.
  6. Suggest potential solutions to the issue that are important to them. As you hear each other’s stories, and discuss the facts, you can show that you empathize and understand their point-of-view. You do this by finding and suggesting potential solutions that would help them. It’s important that you do not assume that you know what is best for them, but instead present potential solutions as ideas to be discussed together.

Get Work Relationships Back On Track

Conflict in the workplace can put a pause on productivity, and create tension that strains working relationships. However, when handled properly, conflict can provide two advantages. First, is that when all parties come together with the intention to do what is best for the organization, we often find a better solution than either initially proposed. Second, is that the process we prescribe actually builds on relationships, rather than destroying them.

While these are some of our top 6 ideas for conflict resolution, each situation of conflict is unique. Lead2Goals always strives to customize conflict management for each organization. We base our solutions on individual needs, and the issues and perspectives they present. If you need help managing conflict in your organization, you may be interested in some personalized executive leadership coaching, or our conflict resolution short course to help you get back on track.

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