Conflict resolution is one of the most difficult things to manage in the workplace. It can be difficult to keep emotions in check with so many different personalities and heated opinions. Keeping an impartial position in the middle of it all can be even more complicated, but that’s exactly what supervisors and managers must do. Leaders need to be models of effective conflict resolution, though few have ever received conflict management training.
As leaders, every aspect of our behavior is important in how we influence our team members. This is especially true in conflict situations, where heated discussions can quickly escalate. If we engage in rash actions, we encourage the same sort of behavior in our employees, which will have a negative impact on the workplace. There are a wide range of leadership development trainings that exist including mindset management, leadership through emotional intelligence, employee engagement and support building effective teams.
Often conflict involves multiple employees and can create an unhealthy work environment. As a leader, it’s your job to take control of the situation and work toward a solution. It’s up to you to lead by example and because we know this is easier said than done, we have created this list of effective conflict resolution approaches.
The next time there’s an issue in the workplace, consider which of these options may work best for your team:
- Listen before you speak. To reach a resolution, it’s important to understand all the viewpoints. Showing that you’re willing to listen to employees can help them calm down, and you’ll be able to get a better assessment of the situation if you don’t interrupt anyone.
- Discuss how problems impact others. In the workplace, one argument can disrupt the whole team. When employees understand how their actions affect others, they can be more conscious of the extent of their actions.
- Don’t put off solving the problem. Sometimes conflicts make us want to avoid the problem altogether, but this can allow the situation to get worse. Address problems after careful consideration, but don’t ignore them altogether.
- Ask for the solution. Letting involved parties contribute to the resolution makes it less like an order from up above and more like a cooperative situation for improvement.
Resolving conflict can be, for some, the more challenging part of being a leader. Learning the tools to model effective conflict resolution will help encourage similar behavior in your team and lead to team members finding ways to solve conflict on their own as it arises. MindSpring offers one of the most effective and engaging conflict resolution programs in Washington, D.C. called Dancing with Conflict and Difficult People. The program focuses on the skill of constructive discontent, the ability to remain comfortably uncomfortable in conflict, and can lead to a healthier and happier workplace environment.