How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict is a normal part of life. And yet, most people have a hard time handling it, especially in the workplace. If it’s not dealt with, though, it can actually fester and turn into something much worse: a toxic work environment. How can you ensure this doesn’t happen in your workplace and that you manage conflict successfully? Here are some tips.

Don’t jump to conclusions; find out the source.

If there’s a conflict at work, it’s easy to make assumptions. However, take an objective stance and work to identify the source. This will not only help you to understand the issue, but also figure out the best way to deal with it. To do this, talk to all sides involved and make sure they’re each given the opportunity to voice their concerns. Listen and ask questions until you have a handle on the issue.

Keep the situation private and confidential.

Don’t bring up workplace conflict in front of the whole team. Instead, schedule to meet privately and individually with each party involved. Make sure you’re asking about the source of the problem, what led up to it, and also what their idea of a resolution would look like. If you’re not having these kinds of conversations privately, though, your employees won’t feel like they can be honest.

Make sure you understand the situation.

After talking with those involved, repeat back what you heard and ask for confirmation from each individual that you have a firm grasp on what happened. Don’t be dismissive or take sides, even if you feel like one party is in the wrong. Remember, once you say something or pass judgment, you can’t take it back. So, tread carefully.

Determine a solution.

Once you’ve done all your digging and understand all sides, work on the resolution part of the process. Come up with a common objective and figure out how you can work together toward it. You might need to sit down with all parties together and brainstorm ideas. Find common ground and build on that until you nail down a solution that everyone can live with.

Check in and evaluate.

Once some time has passed, check in with those involved to assess the solution and measure progress. If the issue resurfaces, take steps to deal with it once again. Also, take the lessons you learned from this conflict and see if they can be applied elsewhere to avoid future problems.

Are employees overworked and fighting, as a result?

If part of the conflict is stemming from being stretched too thin, let Happy Faces Personnel Group help. We’ll take the time to learn about your staffing needs and challenges, so we can help you staff up, whether on a temporary or full time basis. Contact us today to learn more!

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