How to Deal With Conflict in the Workplace

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“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means” -Ronald Reagan

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One of the most challenging aspects of being a manager is dealing with conflict amongst your team.

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It’s vital to productivity to get the team running like a well oiled machine, even in the face of adversity.

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? 01 COLLECT ALL THE FACTS A manager needs to be impartial in all disputes between employees. You need to be balanced and empathetic in discussions about conflict, allow employees to get their points across and be constructive at all times.

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? 01 COLLECT ALL THE FACTS Try organising a meeting about the dispute so each person has equal time to talk and air their thoughts. Don’t let it become a shouting match.

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02 CALL APPROPRIATE MEETINGS In a group setting it is common for a complainant to hold back for fear of looking bad in front of the team. You may need to speak to each individual in turn before discussing the issue in a group.

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02 CALL APPROPRIATE MEETINGS Try holding one-to-one meetings with everyone involved, gaining insight from their perspective and then bringing it to the group to reach a solution.

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03 FOCUS ON COMMON GOALS When conflicts occur it easy for the team to lose sight of their original goals. Restating the team’s purposes as well as the value of each individual can play a big role in resolving a dispute.

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03 FOCUS ON COMMON GOALS Try holding a meeting in which you break down the overall goals and discuss with each individual how exactly they are essential to these targets.

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04 WORK COLLABORATIVELY Sometimes it can be helpful to work collaboratively with those involved in a conflict in order to resolve it. The sense of teamwork and reaching a common goal can create an opportunity to repair damaged relationships.

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04 WORK COLLABORATIVELY Oversee a brainstorming session with everyone together and encourage everyone to contribute equally.

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! 05 DIFFERENT STYLES OF CONFLICT HANDLING Everyone has different ways of dealing with conflict. Some people like to make their feelings loudly known while others shy away from confrontation. It’s important to think about this when dealing with conflicts when aiming to address issues in a neutral way.

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! 05 DIFFERENT STYLES OF CONFLICT HANDLING Try to shape a meeting to be constructive and fair, consider something like a ‘talking stick’ to make sure everyone has their fair say.

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06 MAKE SURE THE PROBLEM IS RESOLVED After the conflict has been resolved, its vital to make sure all parties are happy with the solution moving forward. As part of your solution, make sure you set guidelines to address similar conflicts should they arise in future.

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06 MAKE SURE THE PROBLEM IS RESOLVED Set a ‘plan of action’ based on steps taken this time so you know what is likely to work in future.

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