The art of successful conflict resolution is one of the most imperative skills to have in any situation, but actually putting those strategies into action is much easier said than done. No matter the workplace, knowing how to proactively address and resolve issues makes the lives and jobs of everyone involved more enjoyable and less stressful.
Read on for our list of the 4 best steps to successful conflict resolution for your organization!
- When it comes to conflict, don’t ignore it.
Conflict is uncomfortable. No one likes to be in the middle of a workplace problem, and sometimes it can seem easier to just act as if the problem doesn’t exist at all in the hopes that it’ll go away on its own. But sweeping a conflict under the rug creates room for tension, frustration, and an eventual awkward confrontation between both parties. Allowing conflict to fester and grow without getting involved can lead to angry employees and stressed-out management. To avoid this, always confront conflict swiftly and directly.
- Bring in both parties.
The game of “he said, she said” is a productivity killer. Rather than letting both parties duke out the problem on their own, bring them both in for a calm and clear discussion. Conflict resolution is all about communication, and both parties want to feel heard and understood. Remember to remain as unbiased as possible, and look at all angles of the situation.
- Troubleshoot and identify a possible solution.
After both parties have had an opportunity to air out their grievances, it’s time to step in as the leader and form ideas to come to a resolution as a group. Hopefully, both sides involved will have had time to listen to and process the other’s opinions, and will be ready to form a solution. Be prepared–this won’t happen quickly and easily in most cases. Finding a resolution that makes everyone happy can take time, and patience is crucial during this process.
- Monitor and follow up.
Once a conflict is over, chances are it still isn’t completely “over.” There may be some residual discomfort on both sides, and employees may feel awkward learning how to respectfully interact with one another again. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to closely monitor the aftermath of the conflict resolution, and make sure the agreed-upon action steps are taking place. If needed, a follow-up discussion a few weeks down the road can be a great way to provide closure and clarity for everyone involved.
Looking for professional conflict resolution help? RWP Labor is your top resource for identifying and problem-solving workplace issues. Contact our experts today!