Tips For Conflict Resolution In The Workplace
You finally landed the job you’ve wanted for years. And two months in, you find that one of your coworkers seems fixated on making your office life a living nightmare. How can you keep your job and keep the peace?
Forbes Magazine has some interesting advice on the topic—it recommends embracing conflict. While this may seem counter intuitive, “embracing” can also mean having the fortitude to step in and address a tough situation. Conflict can lead not only to discontent, but to reduced productivity. Want to look like a hero? Show your boss that you’re willing to put yourself out there and fix problems—it’s a sure fire way to move up on the boss’s list of trusted employees.
When you’re part of a workplace conflict, it’s imperative to take care of it quickly. Don’t let things boil out of control to a point where there’s no ability for happy resolution. Forbes Magazine’s tips include:
- Knowing what acceptable behavior is in your workplace
- Addressing conflict head-on
- Taking time to understand the other person’s point of view
- Viewing conflict as an opportunity for change
Understanding what’s ok in the workplace sets the stage for your questions and defense should conflict arise. If there’s something happening that’s clearly unacceptable, you should feel confident in bringing this to your employer’s attention.
If the conflict is truly person-to person, try to understand the motivation. Forbes calls this “what’s in it for me” and it can help you to better define what’s behind a person’s actions. You may find that there’s a misunderstanding that’s ballooned into a full-on defensive attack—a person may feel that his or her job is at stake or that they’ve been overlooked for a promotion.
The key to solving any of these conflicts is communication. Tell your side of the story and be prepared to hear the other side. Be understanding. And most importantly, if you agree to put the incident in the past, do it. Don’t hold onto feelings that can simmer below the surface and lead to a new conflict.
At Argosy University, we offer courses that help people to become better managers and communicators within an organization. We even offer a specific course on conflict management. Our goal is to prepare graduates for the real world—and everything that comes with it. If you’re interested in learning about our business, human resources, management, or psychology degrees, please visit our website or contact an admissions representative. We’re excited to help you achieve your career and educational goals.