Top5 – How to Manage Workplace Conflict Effectively

August 4, 2015

Conflict is a natural component of everyday relationships and interactions, and the workplace is no different. People deal with conflict in a variety of ways, some are more direct and others can be more passive.

Conflict is often considered as negative, however, conflict when dealt with effectively can have positive outcomes. It can bring issues to light, lead to innovative solutions and even strengthen working relationships.  The quality of most relationships can be measured in how effectively people manage conflict.  In this Top5 we will look at tips to manage workplace conflict effectively.

1. Self-Awareness – How well do you know yourself? When you have a great awareness of yourself you will understand and be conscious of aspects of your personality that can contribute positively and negatively to any given situation.

2. Attitude – Have a positive attitude toward a win/win outcome. Resolving conflict is an opportunity to learn about ourselves and your teams on a deeper level. Outcomes that are mutually agreed lead to a shared vision.

3. What is the issue? – People are different with different perspectives and nothing is more frustrating than wanting to resolve a conflict and finding out half way through the conversation that you are both talking about different issues. Ensure you and the other person are on the same page. Get clear, define what exactly the issue is and agree on it at the beginning. If this needs to be in a more formalised way, create an issues statement based on facts and get agreement from all parties.

4. Planning – As with everything, take time to plan in advance of any conversations.  You need to know not only what the issue is, but any contributing factors, situations or history that has led to it. Know what your desired outcome is, what is negotiable and what isn’t.

5. Facts over emotions – wherever there is conflict, there is emotion and sometimes this can affect your judgement.  If emotions are running high allow both parties time to cool down and find their resolve. For conflict resolution to be effective, solutions need to address rather than focussing on blame or judgement.

For more support on managing conflict you can find models, tools and tips in the topic providing feedback.

Providing feedback

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