Conflict is a necessary part of work. Conflict allows for change and innovation. Without conflict, your business will never reach its full potential. Even though conflict can have positive effects, you need to know how to resolve conflict in a helpful and healthy way. Here are the best ways to resolve conflict at work through communication:
Waiting to resolve issues will frequently make those issues worse. When someone brings up a concern, address it immediately. Work with your employees to formulate solutions to problems in a way that includes feedback from multiple people and leaves the majority satisfied. This will show your employees that you care about their concerns and will keep conflict healthy.
Too much communication or unhealthy communication can make conflict worse. To prevent this, it’s important to create boundaries and rules around conflict communication. These rules can involve things like “no interrupting” or it can include a set process for submitting complaints and concerns. Whatever boundaries you decide work best for your company, make sure to inform employees of the boundaries and explain them well.
Managing conflict can sometimes make you feel defensive, angry, or frustrated. To avoid letting those emotions rule the conversation, make efforts to stay calm. Relaxing your body and using non-accusatory language can often de-escalate charged situations.
Even if you communicate effectively, there are some situations where opinions won’t be changed. These differences may not affect company processes or the employee’s ability to work. In that case, you should respect the difference of opinion and let the conversation go. If the opinion does affect the employee’s ability to work, a careful, private conversation may be needed. But again, normally opinion differences that are not vital to company function are normal.
Resolving conflict is an important skill for all business leaders to learn. Use this advice to appropriately handle conflict in your workplace.