Poorly managed conflict and disagreements can kill effectiveness and efficiencies within a workplace. Then fester, build up and completely overwhelm an office to the point where it stops you in your tracks.
Conflict is inevitable. But if you take a “head in the sand” approach, you’ll likely face even bigger problems down the road.
If part of your job is to oversee a group of people, conflict will arise from time to time. Having tactics available to help bring resolution back quickly will allow you to work through those time periods and get back to doing what your workplace does best.
Get To The Issue
There are really only two issues that cause all conflict within an office: communication and expectations.
Communication issues start when there is a misunderstanding about what was said. Or in some cases, what was left unsaid. Expectation issues always stem from a misinterpretation of the end goal or result. When conflict begins, it’s a matter of bringing all parties to the table and discovering the root problem.
- What was said that caused hurt feelings?
- What goal wasn’t met?
- Were all aspects of the project clearly identified upfront?
Dig down to where the disagreement began and you can usually find where the confusion began. Then it’s a matter of moving forward and not getting lost in playing the blame game.
Where Personality Comes Into Play
Introvert. Extrovert. Thinkers. Feelers. Millenial. Baby boomer. Chances are you’ve taken a personality test or two, and have been labeled many things based on your results. All of that comes into play when a disagreement occurs.
It starts with self-knowledge about what motivates and frustrates us. It also takes learning the same about others you deal with every day.
The key isn’t thinking about what the person has done. Instead, it’s about taking in how a person’s personality is factored into the way they handle the situation.
As humans, our first instinct is fight-or-flight. We either dig in for the fight or back away altogether. That can cause more than its fair share of tension, especially when you bring a lot of personality types into one situation.
No matter where you fall on the scales, if you learn to respect situations based on how others view it, it can help you take a step back and say “how would she view this?” One simple question can completely defuse a situation.
Rip The Bandaid Off
Conflict is never fun. But the faster you deal with it, the less time it festers, the smaller the chance it has of stopping production in your workplace. As soon as you discover a disagreement, jump in and work to find the solution as fast as possible.
While conflict will always exist, it’s the leadership team that acknowledges it and finds ways of working through it that will lead the way. Find what works best for your office, lead by example, and don’t let conflict hold you back.