The world is filled with people with different cultures, religions, beliefs, and practices. There is a zero chance there won’t be misunderstandings when people of these diversities gather in the same place. For this reason, it is almost impossible not to have conflicts in the workplace. But workplace conflicts are unhealthy to the work culture in every office, so managing conflicts requires adequate attention, especially for a business owner or HR manager.
If everyone knew how to manage conflicts, the world would have been a better place long ago. There probably won’t be wars in our history, and Ukraine and Russia will be best friends. Therefore, if we want to make the world a better place, or better still, our workplace a better place, we must develop conflict resolution skills. This article will be a guide to conflict resolution to help with possible conflicts that may arise in your workplace.
What are the causes of conflicts in the workplace?
Before you can understand how to deal with conflicts in a workplace, you first need to understand the causes of conflicts in the workplace. This way, you can know the right approach to resolve the conflict when it arises. Below are some factors that may cause conflict in the workplace.
- Having a different point of view: As discussed in the introduction, the workplace contains persons with different ideologies about different ways of living. For that reason, it is hard to find common ground always. Mr. A might feel it is better to submit a file in pdf format, while Mr. B might feel it is better in a doc format. They surely have genuine reasons for their opinions, but if they cannot reach common ground, this might result in conflict in the workplace.
- Bad communication skills: Sometimes, how you communicate determines the outcome of the discussion. There is a high possibility that a rude person will always be involved in conflicts. Learning the right way to communicate will reduce the risk of conflicts in the workplace.
- Gossiping in the workplace: When you spend more time discussing with co-workers, you might gossip about other co-workers, resulting in conflict when they find out. Therefore, to prevent conflicts that may result from gossiping in a workplace, one must limit the time they spend discussing personal talks with other co-workers.
- Depending on others to get the job done: When you assume someone else is meant to finish a task that you were assigned, failure to get the task done might result in conflict. Therefore, proper communication could save the day in a case like this.
What are the Do’s of conflict resolution in the workplace?
As an HR manager, there are some things you have to make sure you do while resolving conflicts. These Do’s are necessary for you to be fair to all parties involved. Some of the dos of conflict resolution in a workplace are highlighted below.
- Understand that conflicts are inevitable in a workplace.
You need to have it at the back of your mind that conflicts are inevitable in a workplace. A workplace comprises workers with diverse ideologies, cultures, beliefs, etc., and it is almost impossible for every worker to reach common ground when relating. As an HR manager, you must be ready to resolve conflicts and understand that it is inevitable in the workplace.
- Set up a time to sit down and have a conversation with the involved parties
You must ensure you are in the best mind to resolve conflicts. It is okay to invite the parties involved to come to meet you at your convenient time. This way, you can handle the situation in the best possible way.
- Communicate your assumptions, beliefs, and perception of their experience
Making the parties understand your assumptions, perceptions, and beliefs about the situation is perfectly fine. You can tell them, “this is why I think you did this, and you’re free to tell me if I’m wrong and explain it clearly to me,” this way, you can get a better picture of the situation, which will help you make a better judgment.
- Frame your language to fit the experience
You should be careful of your language to communicate with the parties involved. Instead of saying, “you never listen,” for instance, you can say, “the experience I’m having right now is that I don’t feel listened to,” this will help better the communication you are having with the concerned parties.
- Listen and be curious
When resolving conflicts, you must listen and be attentive to both parties. You must also be curious to know more about the situation to help you know how best you can resolve the conflict.
What are the Don’ts of conflict resolution in the workplace?
As you have a list of things you are expected to do while resolving conflicts, you also have a list of what you shouldn’t do in conflict resolution. Below are some don’ts of conflict resolution in the workplace.
- Do not allow your emotions to get the better of you
Avoid resolving conflicts when you know you most like will get emotionally triggered. You need to be in the right mind to resolve conflict successfully.
- Do not treat your assumptions as true
Remember that your interpretation of other people’s feelings, actions, and perceptions are assumptions. You shouldn’t mistake them for reality. Understanding this will give you a better chance at resolving conflicts.
- Do not attack individuals or label them in a certain way
Do not accuse or label people a certain way, it might prolong the situation, and you might not be able to resolve the conflict on time.
- Do not always try to fix it yourself; instead, evaluate the best method of resolution
Refrain from believing you are best at resolving conflicts unless you have gone through intensive training, read many books on conflict resolution, do a lot of work in resolving conflicts, and maybe received many honours in conflict resolution. Instead, be calm and find the best way to resolve conflict, which may involve introducing someone else.
Conflicts are inevitable in a workplace since it comprises people with diversity. Your duty as an HR manager is to learn the best way to resolve conflicts whenever they come up. With this article, you should be closer to being a good conflict resolver.