Workplace Conflict Strategies
In a perfect world, everyone would get along, but the world, of course, is not perfect. Personality conflicts frequently erupt; in some cases, such differences can be resolved by two people staying away from each other.
That choice, however, isn’t as viable when two people are conflicting at work. There are strategies that management can use to try to solve such workplace conflicts.
Get Both Sides Together
Waiting to deal with a conflict in the workplace can exacerbate the problem. Both sides should be brought to the table at the same time as soon as possible and allowed to vent.
Their complaints should be listened to and the facts gathered, with as little outside opinion offered as possible, particularly comments that side with one person or the other or downplay their concerns.
Accentuate the Positive
With any luck, the conflicting parties will fully bare the problems they are having. It’s possible that the problem may be one of perception—what one views as a slight may, in fact, be nothing of the kind.
During the conversation, efforts should be made to see if the employees can see the positives in their workplace relationship.
Look at the Data
With all the pluses and minuses aired, it’s possible the employees may see what their differences were, and be able to get past them without any further action. Often though, more guidance may be needed.
Each should be asked what they expect from the other to see if middle ground can be found. If not, management should begin trying to think of solutions that will be palatable to all parties.
If no resolution has been reached, goals and objective should be drawn up that will hopefully end the conflict. Specific steps should be outlined.
Without being threatened, the employees should be made aware that not solving their differences will not be tolerated—that it may be affecting morale and productivity.
Revisit the Issue
After a period of time that the management sees as sufficient to end the conflict, the manager should sit down with the two parties to see if their problem have been solved satisfactorily.
If not, management may choose to go through the process for resolving the conflict again, or they may decide that the conflict cannot be solved, and that perhaps a personnel change or changes may be needed.