How to Avoid Conflicts in Your Office

BE A PEACEMAKER

KEY POINTS:

  1. Conflicts are  inevitable.
  2. Be  alert to conflicts among your staff
  3. Be ready to take a role in resolving them

Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace. However, if they continue without resolution, they will damage staff morale and affect productivity. To ensure a smoothly running department, it is important that you pay attention to these matters. You have to be alert and keep your ears to the ground.

Therefore, as a manager, you may need to take a role in helping your employees manage the conflicts that arise. You need to communicate very well and be sensitive to the personalities of those involved and the culture of the workplace. Here are some suggestions:

Act quickly to resolve the problem

It is easy to postpone getting involved in settling a conflict. You hope that the parties will work it out themselves. That doesn’t usually happen. Instead, it is better to deal with the problem sooner than later, especially if you can arrive at a satisfactory solution.

Investigate and get all the facts

Try to get as much information as you can before you start the process of resolving the conflict. You may find that some people will come to you voluntarily to offer information and opinion. Use your observation skills to keep track of what is going on.

Get the parties to agree as to what is the problem

Meet the parties first on a one to one basis. Your purpose is to get a clear view  of what the problem is from both sides  without conflict and emotional outbursts. From these conversations, you are trying to get each side to define the problem.

Brainstorm different solutions

By now you should have lots of information. Now bring the two parties together in a neutral and private location where you will not be interrupted. State the problem as you see it and ask both sides to brainstorm possible solutions. Make it clear that this situation cannot continue and the alternative would be a more drastic solution imposed by management.

Arrive at a solution that solves the problem and, hopefully, is win-win.

Both parties should be motivated. You want to make sure that each side is at least moderately satisfied so that the conflict will not interfere with operations.

Published by pitman

I am a Business English Coach who works with managers and other professionals helping them to perform at their best when it is most important: such as a presentation, meeting with an important client, or a job interview. I am also a resource person for teachers of Business English.

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