How To Handle Workplace Conflicts

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Put together a group of people from all walks of life in a confined space and see how they all work together to achieve a common goal. Do they all work well together, or is there often conflict due to differences of opinions and ideas?

With different cultures, opinions, and personalities, working in a company or organization, conflicts are bound to arise. Workplace conflicts often involve insults, confrontation, or bullying, and sometimes from deliberately not complying with the rules.

Any workplace should be grounded on fairness, trust, and mutual respect. However, regardless of how smoothly the company runs, conflicts usually happen because of communication and emotions. Whenever conflicts arise, productivity is affected, and personal relationships are tested. It is then the company’s role to help resolve disputes among its employees promptly and fairly.

Not being able to resolve conflicts among the people in the workplace may be problematic for the business. The good news is that disputes can be fixed, no matter how inevitable. Here are some ways you can handle conflicts in the workplace.

how to handle workplace conflicts

Recognize The Good In The Individual That Annoys You

Nobody likes problematic people in the workplace, but the truth is that they are there for a reason. A colleague who riles you up may not be the most excellent person in the room, but there must be something positive that you can find in them. It’s within your control sphere to perceive and approach your colleagues more positively. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of being involved in unnecessary conflicts with them.

Do Not Take It Personally

Work is work, and you and your colleagues are there for one reason – to work. There is no need to take conflicts. Personally, that is, if the dispute is not entirely about you. There could be an underlying reason why your co-worker behaves negatively towards you. They might be experiencing work-related or personal problems. If you know the negative behavior is caused by something you cannot control, avoiding conflicts with that person is more manageable. Perhaps you need to show a little empathy instead.

Communicate and Work on Shared Goals

You and your colleagues work in the same company. Therefore, all of you have a shared goal: to help the company thrive. If it doesn’t succeed, there is no job! When you dispute with a co-worker, try to set aside your emotions and focus on the task.

Remind the other person that there is a project to finish and a deadline to meet, which should be the focus now. This might be difficult to do initially, primarily if you are not used to talking up for fear of escalating the conflict. However, it would be best to learn to communicate with them effectively.

Identify Expectations and Roles

group of workers in office trying to resolve an issue

Conflicts can arise from deadlines not being met or overlapping roles among employees. When people work without clear expectations of what needs to be done or what they are meant to do, conflicts are bound to arise as they have no set guidelines to work with.

Managers should communicate their respective roles and expectations among the people in the workplace. Transparency in the office can help curb possible conflicts arising from unclear roles and expectations.

Escalate When Required

When all else fails, seek help from others. This may be a manager or higher up if the manager is the problem. If the conflict is affecting your work and well-being, then it might be the right time to escalate your concern to someone who can help you sort things out with your co-worker.

It is always best to resolve the problem between the two parties. Still, if the other person is not receptive to you and your approach (assuming it is positive and well-intentioned) is not accepted, the company should intervene.

Conflicts are unwanted yet unavoidable aspects of the workplace. It can affect personal relationships and can disrupt work. Conflicts can be minimized if the company’s culture is based on fairness, trust, and mutual respect. Employees can experience a more positive working environment if they trust their management to resolve matters fairly.