Okay. Stay calm. Breathe. Yes, at some point during your career, you will have to deal with it. Conflict – an inevitable part of the workplace. And, according to conflict statistics, 85% of employees encounter conflict to some degree, spending almost 3 hours per week dealing with it. Developing effective conflict resolution skills is easier than you think and essential to every business. Good conflict resolution maintains productivity, fosters creativity and aides employee retention. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, choosing to deal with it wisely and calmly benefits everyone. The following are tips for successfully resolving and managing conflict.
Did You Hear That? It’s your colleague speaking. Listening connects us to our own feelings as well as those of others, strengthening our bond with those around us. In turn, it becomes easier for others to hear us when we’re speaking. So, the next time you’re in a meeting, listen to each co-worker, look at them while they’re speaking and show interest in what they’re saying. And, remember, it works both ways.
Point / Counterpoint If necessary, agree to disagree. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and we must respect the right that others have to disagree with us. Considering other viewpoints, whether you agree or not, shows that you respect others, thereby fostering strong relations among employees or co-workers.
In the Now There are no winners in the blame game. Take the high road and move past grudges and resentments. They’ll only slow you down and hinder success. Focus on the here and now and the reality of the situation you’re in at the moment. Seek positive solutions to your conflict and look toward positive future relationships and team building.
Time and Energy We’ve all heard it: Know how to pick your battles. Wasting time and energy on an issue that really has no value serves no purpose other than to be divisive and draining on workplace morale. Know when to “let it go” and move on to important topics where you can make a positive difference in the outcome.
Forgive and Learn Rise above the challenge and you’ll be the wiser for it. The ability to forgive frees you to move on, while learning from the experience and positively expanding yourself in the process. Be open to forgiving because one day you might be on the receiving end.
It Takes Two Should you find yourself in an ongoing situation with a co-worker who simply won’t agree to disagree, take control. Move on. Yes, it takes two and if you’re disengaged from the disagreement, it won’t be there for you anymore. You’ve got better things to do, so do them.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Stand up for yourself… calmly. Never allow yourself to be a doormat for anyone. Simply state your case tactfully and succinctly to diffuse conflict. Whether you are agreed with or not, you’ll be respected for sticking to your beliefs.
Remember: You have the power to control your reactions when conflict strikes. Next time, try implementing some of the conflict resolution skills above. Good luck and be cool!