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How to Resolve Conflicts in the Workplace

Conflicts in the workplace are not a new issue, but with all the changes and uncertainties of 2020 so far, many employees are a bit more tense and stressed. This can be a recipe for disaster when disagreements or misunderstandings arise.

As a business leader, it is your job to make sure there are systems in place to effectively deal with these conflicts and diffuse them so that your employees can work together towards your common mission.

Here are 5 important aspects of conflict resolution in the workplace:

  1. Neutral Environment. Create an environment where both parties involved feel comfortable sharing their story and perception of the situation. Ensure this environment is free from “office politics” and both parties feel mutual respect. It is often helpful to have an HR individual there to document the interaction.

  2. Gather Additional Information. Oftentimes what seems to be a surface-level issue may actually have deep roots. Make sure you are really getting to the bottom of what caused the conflict and dispute. Ask clarifying questions of both parties.

  3. Appreciate Differences. No two employees are the same, therefore, both parties could perceive the same situation very differently. It is important to figure out what the real problem is and if any misunderstandings took place. Once the problem is identified, discuss the difference of each party and look for ways you can understand and appreciate these differences.

  4. Allow for Input. Once the problem is identified, it is time to work towards a solution. Including both parties in coming up with a plan of action and solution is crucial. When asked for input and ideas, your employees will be more committed to the plan moving forward.

  5. Devise a Solution. Creating a problem-specific customized solution is key to making sure each party feels heard and appreciated. Negotiating a mutually satisfying agreement may be necessary, as well as clearly communicating the expectations for each party as a result of the solution. 

Conflicts will always arise, but how you deal with them shows your true colors as a leader in your company. Help your employees to productively work together, show respect for differences, and create a company culture of teamwork. Share with us below, have you experienced more or less conflict in the workplace during the current 2020 climate?

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