When there are differing opinions in the workplace, conflicts can arise. The majority of employees report experiencing conflict at work. A third of those conflicts are reported to be constant.
Conflict isn’t always bad because it often leads to creative solutions, facilitates new ideas, and challenges the status quo. If conflict goes unchecked, it will become counterproductive and corrupt team dynamics.
Investing in conflict resolution can help employers find a constructive way to engage, manage, and resolve conflict in a way that maintains discourse and ingenuity without causing harmful setbacks in productivity and interpersonal relationships.
Conflict in the Workplace
Conflict doesn’t automatically mean incompatibility. Conflict simply occurs because the team’s goals, processes, workflows, or emotions have led to a disagreement. Regardless of the underlying cause, whether it be a value, needs, or ideas dispute, conflict results when one individual or group feels thwarted by another.
However, it takes training for managers to know when conflict is good for teams, and when it’s bad. Managers trained in conflict resolution don’t have to fear or discourage conflict, but rather, encourage it when it’s necessary to impact positive change in the team and organization as a whole.
Knowing how to manage conflict as it happens, reduces the risk of an escalation. Good managers know how to turn conflict into productive outcomes. Consider online training that can help your management team decipher between healthy and unhealthy conflict.
Investing in Conflict Management
Investing in conflict resolution can improve workflow and communication. Properly doing so has been found to even increase employee productivity. Here are five ways to manage conflict in your workplace environment to affect positive change:
One of the biggest reasons employee conflicts arise is because of a lack of authority in the workplace. When clear roles and hierarchies are established, employees know who needs to assist with the tough decisions when conflicts arise. When management can intercede and make decisions, conflicts can simmer as fast as they flare.
More than half of all employees believe their managers could better handle conflict if they address it immediately. By taking a proactive role when you see conflicts arise, you make swifter management decisions which could put an end to quarrels and get people and projects progressing forward again.
Almost half of all employees believe conflicts arise due to ego and personality clashes. Paying close attention to communication styles can help you put together complementary teams that mitigate misunderstandings. By encouraging people to communicate with each other, you’ll be able to avoid conflicts that escalate because they fester.
Diverse work groups are more likely to give rise to more conflicts, but they also lead to higher productivity and increased innovation and creativity. While arguments aren’t always pleasant, managers have to know when they can be advantageous, therefore, recognizing when it’s best to intervene, or not.
Overcome Conflict With Action
To overcome conflict, a resolution must be reached. Creating a plan of action is an effective way to avoid future conflict, streamline processes, and identify room for improvement. By turning conflict into an action plan, your teams can strengthen their work dynamics and flow.
Implement Conflict Resolution Training
Conflict resolution training helps employees to:
- Come to an agreement
- Find ways to solve a problem
- Reassess their positions
- Understand someone else’s perspective
By implementing conflict resolution training in the workplace, you allow employees to resolve issues on their own. This means conflict is resolved more quickly, harmoniously, and productively.
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