Workplace conflict is an unavoidable situation that can occur to every employee in the organization. Misunderstanding can happen between employees or even the employer and employees. If the goals of the employees are not in line with that of the management, this usually becomes the common root of conflict.
Dealing with this kind of conflict is easy because between the two parties, the management takes the lead in getting to a resolution. However, in cases wherein employees disagree with each other, managing the conflict may be quite challenging. In some situations, if the employees possess the proper conflict resolution skills, conflict is dealt with smoothly.
Dealing with Employee-Employer Conflict
Usually, if the interests of the employees are not in alignment with the company goals, conflict starts to emerge. Another reason for the misunderstanding between the two parties is the implementation of company rules and policies. On the part of the employees, they might think of the situation as a lose-win outcome because of the power and influence that the management has.
At times, a mediator or a third party is needed to bring some issues on the table and facilitate the process. This can be helpful especially for crucial issues. However, the mediator does not act as the voice of the employees or should not represent either party.
The conflict intervener will stay neutral on the issue and remain unbiased. Mediators function to pave way for a smooth communication flow between the employees and the management. In this way, too, there is no abuse of power as well as in hierarchy.
Encouraging Courtesy and Professionalism
Courtesy and professionalism are two major characteristics that every employee should possess as mature working individuals. These two attributes and skills widely cover behavioral and attitude characteristics of an individual. During a conflict, sometimes our attitude is being tested.
People who have come to embrace professionalism find a conflicting situation easy to deal with. However, since we have different personalities, there are those who can barely manage to keep being professional all the time. Instead, they allow things to go out of hand.
How can we keep a courteous and professional demeanor in the workplace especially when dealing with conflicts? The first thing to do is to have a proper mindset which is to not take workplace situations on a personal level. Simply put, do not mix business with personal issues. When you are in the office interacting with colleagues, put on a different image and do not let the natural you remain or reveal in your office personality.
During a conflict process or in a heated discussion, learn how to respect others as you will likely gain the same level of respect from them. Manage your emotions properly and do not allow emotional leakage to occur. So in voicing out your opinions, speak calmly and politely and be careful with your facial expressions and body language. Be cautious on the use of your words, too. Do not let emotions pile up; make your feelings known in a civil manner, in a way that will not offend the other employee. One way of doing this is to say “no” and then point out difficulties. Always bear in mind that you are in that conflict to resolve any disagreement and not to get even with another employee.
In managing conflicts with the proper mindset, employees will find it easy to arrive at a resolution.
Dealing with “Special Ones”
Because we all have unique personalities, you may be in a conflict situation with a colleague who is a difficult person and would cause more trouble than others. In dealing with this kind of behavior in a conflict, understanding their behavior is needed. This means learning what motivates their actions on a general approach. With this, you will be more effective in dealing with them.
Since it is difficult to change them, better alter yourself to the situation and the person. Remain firm and express conviction in your opinions. Do not tolerate them too much as they will only abuse and make things more difficult. Ask them what they want or how they plan to settle the dispute but do not readily give in to everything they want. Just listen to them and get the facts from all sides.
In successfully resolving conflicts with fellow employees in the workplace, a cordial working relationship is achieved and work becomes less stressful.