The main thing to remember about conflict in the workplace is, don’t fear it – embrace it. If you’re a leader, it’s part of your job; if you’re not, you’ll undoubtedly encounter it at some time. By facing it calmly and proactively, you’ll be able to manage and minimise it.
Here are some guides:
Tackle the cause
Be clear about why you’re arguing. Make sure everyone involved understands what the fundamental reason for the conflict is. By doing this you’re ensuring that people will talk about it and have a better chance at resolving it.
Let everyone have their say
It’s important that everyone involved feels they were given the chance to express their opinions fairly and share their views in an open arena. Let the other party have their concerns and frustrations heard. Avoid interrupting them as they are talking and really listen to what they are saying.
Make sure that there’s clarity around everything that everyone says. Clarify any ambiguity immediately. Often, issues can arise over style and tone, as opposed to actual substance.
Find a compromise
Be open to compromise, and let everyone know this. Do you best to be flexible and try to find a solution that keeps each party happy, as much as that is possible.
Always be respectful
You are at work, so you need to make sure you are respectful no matter how wound up you feel. Remain cool calm and collected and you will stay one step ahead of the game.
Stay positive. By offering possible solutions you will encourage others to communicate in a more positive way.
Try to look at the situation objectively and think proactively about ways in which you might be able to improve it. My concentrating on resolution instead of conflict, you will automatically invite people to communicate more openly with you.
Be willing to compromise
Let it be known that you are always open to compromise. Before you enter into such a conversation be confident of your stance and have a clear idea of what areas you would be willing to compromise on. Be as flexible as you can and try to find a solution that is beneficial for both parties.
Remind everyone that manners matter
Finally, old-fashioned civility can bring a sense of peace and harmony to an otherwise stressful workplace. Incivility in the office carries a very high price in both human and financial terms.
Let it go
Always consider the consequences of this ongoing conflict – what will happen if you continue to disagree with the other party? Is it really worth the aggravation and potential disruption to your success at work?