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7 Efficient Workplace Employees Conflict Management Strategies

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Arguably, four out of every 10 employees experience an interpersonal conflict at their workplace. This is an indication that workplace conflict though can and should be avoided – is inevitable.

Some level of discord should be expected in a gathering filled with individuals with different sociocultural orientations. Conflict amidst employees usually presents itself in many ways and few of such ways are; bullying, insults, anger and non cooperation displayed by the conflicted parties.

While employee conflicts in the workplace are inevitable, neglected misunderstandings amidst internal stakeholders are capable of wrecking an organization’s reputation, culture, and productivity. Thus, developing effective measures to combat existing or emerging conflicts amidst coworkers are necessary precautionary toolkits that every organization aimed at protecting its corporate and business interests must consider even long before the organization starts experiencing the conflicts.

Below are a few effective techniques to manage conflicts among employees in the workplace.

1. Show Empathy

Empathy involves understanding the emotional state of others by not just seeing things the way they are or ought to be but by seeing things in other people’s perspective.

Doing this involves showing the parties that you care about them, their peace, growth and concerns.

By doing this, the people involved become relaxed to freely and openly share every detail that might be needed to completely address the situation.

Additionally, giving real life examples or sharing instances where similar incidents happened to you and how you responded, communicates transparency to the parties and it thus further strengthens the ability to resolve the conflict.

2. Persuade Don’t Coerce

Do not force either of the parties to reach an agreement, instead establish a persuasive premise that motivates the two parties to desire peace and make commitments to sustain the peace.

As a manager or a superior officer, forcefully making the conflicted parties agree to making peace with each other always comes easy to do but the benefit often times do not last long as the conflicted parties only agree to peace because they were mandated to and this may result to the individuals still holding onto one or more unhealthy feelings against each other.

Thus, presenting to them reasons to reach an agreement or make compromises for peace to reign usually provides better outcome to coercion.

3. Set an Enabling Premise

The process of resolving conflicts is sometimes tedious and can be annoyingly frustrating. Therefore, setting a suitable environment ensures that the process goes smoothly and in order.

Setting an enabling premise involves creating rules of engagement that allow the parties to observe and avoid certain expressions or display of unruly behaviour while presenting their respective cases.

For example creating a rule or ground that ensures or implore the parties to calmly speak with each other and not to interrupt each other while presenting their cases is a good way to keep the situation in control and in order, and this drives them closer to having a better outcome.

4. Do not Take Sides

Understanding and remaining objective in the workplace can be quite challenging because of the degree of ties and relationships formed between different coworkers. Of course the level of workplace relationship intimacy differs from one coworker to another.

The feeling of selective judgement or bias always leaves one party feeling cheated. Thus, while addressing the situation, maintain an open, constructive and objective mind, such that whatever judgement that is passed gives no evident preference to one party over the other.

5. Understand the Situation

Take some time to study the situation by accepting queries from both parties – establish and encourage an open communication line and listen to every bit of information the parties are willing to share.

While doing so, focus on the problem and not the people involved by completely detaching any form of preferential emotions that is capable of acting in favour or against any of the individuals involved in the conflict.

Additionally, detaching the people from the problem allows the mediator to reach and deliver a sound judgement that leaves the two parties satisfied.

6. Recommend Books, Messages and Courses

An important contributing factor to establishing peace between two conflicting individuals somewhat rely on the respective level of emotional, cultural and intellectual strength.

For example, an individual with low level of social interaction – a typical attribute of an introvert – may sometimes find it difficult tolerating criticism at work and thus end up engaging into a conflict with the person he/she felt criticized from.

Mediating a conflict that involves such individuals requires, first, getting them to a common ground of understanding. And helping them understand how things differ from their own world by encouraging them to take up short self developmental courses via studying lessons related to the conflict, invariably hastens and ease the process of the resolution.

7. Privately Address the Situation

Encourage the conflicting individuals to select locations where they want the situation to be addressed and such locations should be private places where they can freely express their concerns and views.

Final Thought

Conflict resolution if not properly addressed is capable of not only decreasing employees’ productivity – which affects the company’s overall yield – but also increases employees’ dissatisfaction that in turn may lead to high rate of employee absenteeism and turnover.

To avoid this and other negative impacts of unresolved conflicts, taking the above measures {Employees Conflict Management Strategies} such as privately addressing situations, recommending books that promote self social developmental skills, setting an enabling environment, showing the capability to understand the emotional states of others among others are essential strategies to employ.


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