You can’t avoid conflict in the workplace. In fact, good companies actually encourage their workers to argue passionately for their ideas.
Leaders need to be able to harness conflict so it becomes a constructive force in their organization. If not harnessed or handled correctly, discord divides people, obstructs creativity, hampers risk taking and cuts into productivity.
Often, there’s a tendency to identify one person as the troublemaker, single them out for a conversation and possibly use disciplinary action. If a certain employee is the root cause of the situation, and maybe not the right fit for your company, this is the proper way to handle the situation.
More often than not though, the situation is simply the product of personality conflicts that can be resolved easily through mediation, communication and the development of mutual respect.
Even if your team is not currently experiencing regular conflict, any time is a good time to rally your team and embrace the idea of personality conflicts as a good thing.
Make workers feel valued
When conflict develops, it can cause people in your staff to become insecure regarding their position and value to the company. Regularly remind your staff they are a crucial part of the company and ensure everyone understands that each person brings valuable input to the operation.
Doing this not only reassures your employees of their value, it also fosters mutual appreciation among your team members.
Share and discuss
Discord in the workplace often arises from people having different priorities and values. To coach your staff through the situation, help them see the perspectives of others.
Start by asking each person involved to talk about their opinion of the situation. Then, get them to describe what the other person’s or other people’s view might be like. This exercise enables them to step away and draw on their empathy for others. Once everybody has had an opportunity to share their thoughts, have your team recognize each other’s opinions as valid. This can help avoid disagreements from escalating or even starting in the first place.
Find common ground
When tempers flare, a de-escalation of tension is crucial. Show your team how turmoil can actually be valuable by transforming the conflict into an opportunity to develop solutions. Hold a meeting where every team member is invited to provide input. Push your team toward solutions with questions like, “What can we agree on in this situation?” or, “What are we all trying to get out of this?”
These kinds of questions will remind everyone they’re on the same team and encourage them to focus on moving forward.
By addressing conflict this way, it can help team members understand each other better, along with boosting relationships and trust.
At Thompson Technologies, we’re always there for our client companies to help with conflict resolution. If you’re looking for a staffing solution with that level of support, please contact us today.