In any workplace, there are bound to be ups and downs. But if you’re constantly walking on eggshells and afraid to say anything for fear of conflict, then your office is not as healthy as it could be. Working with other people in any capacity will always lead to some level of conflict from time to time. After all, we’re all unique individuals with our own ideas and perspectives on things. This is what makes working together so challenging but also rewarding at the same time.
However, conflict in the workplace can feel like more than just having a difference of opinion with a colleague or an unhealthy dynamic between two employees who probably shouldn’t be working together anyway. Conflict in the office can indicate that something needs to change or that someone needs to leave for the good of everyone else there… which can make things awkward fast! Look at this few recommendations to prevent awkward situations first.
1) Be honest about what happened
Conflict is a part of life and it is unavoidable in the workplace. How you deal with it makes all the difference. There are two ways of dealing with conflict: avoidance and confrontation. Avoidance means that you deny or ignore the situation, so that it doesn’t affect your work. Confrontation, on the other hand, means that you face up to it head on and try to solve it as soon as possible.
Avoidance can be seen as a way to avoid confrontation but in reality, it just postpones the inevitable. It can lead to resentment between colleagues and feelings of inadequacy when they realise they have been avoiding an important issue for too long. Confrontation can be stressful but if done right, it can save your company from unnecessary tensions or conflicts down the line. You will now have the opportunity to solve the underlining issues therefore reducing the chances of more conflicts stemming from the exact issues again in the long term.
2) Don’t blame others
The second step to a healthy conflict management is to recognize that a conflict exists. This might seem like an obvious step, but it can be hard for people to realize when they are in a conflict. The next step is acknowledging the other person’s perspective and identifying what their needs are.
This will help you understand where they are coming from and will make it easier for you to find common ground with them. Remember you only know your part of the story, generally we have little to no idea how the situation looks from the other side. Try to listen to them without giving up on your needs too. They can start to listen to you in time if you are genuine about your intentions and if you let them know that.
3) Apologize if necessary
It can be stressful to deal with conflict from a colleague. When you notice it’s happening, try to defuse the tension by asking for forgiveness for your part in the conflict. For example: I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner about that email. This shows that you understand why they’re upset and that you want to fix things. You’ll likely see them soften their tone and become more receptive to what you have to say next. Consider asking for feedback: If you don’t know what caused an issue between you and another employee, ask them directly.
Ask questions like ”What did I do wrong?” or ”What would help me work better with you?”. They may not give direct answers at first, but keep trying until they open up. Remember to listen closely when they do; if they tell you something specific that they find wrong, apologize again and commit to changing your behavior going forward. If you are someone who is not very comfortable with opening up to people around them so directly, use an online communication tool. PeerBie includes a great one. Try to start a conversation online with PeerBie’s communication feature and break the ice while feeling safe.
4)Take responsibility for your actions
In order to maintain a healthy working environment, it is important to have an understanding of how to resolve conflict in the workplace. There are many ways that you can do this. One way is by not blaming others for what goes wrong while maintaining a constructive tone and positive attitude. Openly discuss about your perspective and try to understand the other person’s as well. Remember to own your actions it may encourage others to do the same.
5) Focus on solutions rather than problems
Conflict is a part of life. Not only within the workplace but also within the households and relationships. In some workspaces it’s more prevalent than others, but it is still there. To solve conflict within your company, it is best on focus on solutions as opposed to focusing on problems. The setback with focusing on problems it that others around you will see it as a negative trait that you have. For example, colleagues may see you as someone who is never satisfied and may think that you only see bad things about a situation, or as someone who is constantly practicing criticism toward the people around them.
6) Accept criticism graciously
Try being generous with your acceptance of criticism, you’ll be seen as someone who wants to find positive solutions instead of finding flaws. Your ability to accept criticism generously will make people want to help resolve issues rather than avoid them. You’ll also be able to take and give feedback better when people are trying to help you improve yourself professionally.
What To Do When Someone Criticizes You: The first thing you should do is acknowledge their point and let them know that you understand where they’re coming from even if it isn’t something you agree with. Finally, by allowing others to have their say, you can show that you’re open-minded and willing to listen to ideas even if they aren’t yours. Accepting criticism generously is a great way to lead others towards a solution without making anyone feel bad about themselves or their ideas.