Conflict Management Mistakes to Avoid in the Workplace
Some topics need to be argued out, and disagreements can actually strengthen a relationship. Your organization may also face conflicts.
Anytime a group of people comes together, there will ly be some level of differing opinions.
Therefore managing workplace conflictcan be a tricky task, however ignoring an issue will definitely do more damage than addressing it early on, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to do so.
Diversity is essential to building a successful team, which means that your team is also ly to face conflict. Knowing how to deal with conflicting personalities and working styles will help make you a better team leader. Members of your team may have contrasting work styles that could actually be incompatible, some may have cultural differences, while others may face personality clashes.
Conflict in the workplace can be a healthy and positive for your company as long as it is handled appropriately and respectfully. It usually indicates that you have a variety of personality types, each employing their own way of approaching problems and solving them to ensure the success of the team.
However, if workplace conflict goes unmanaged, it can erupt into a much larger issue, or even result in a valued employee leaving because they made to feel miserable due to an unresolved problem.
The trouble is that most managers are not taught how to effectively manage conflicts at work. They develop the skills to become an expert in their job, but lack formal training in those important people skills and are just expected to pick them up as they go.
You need to learn how to manage conflict by avoiding these common management mistakes:
Not using active listening
Not listening is an easy trap for managers to fall into when dealing with employee conflicts. Being an active listener is essential to resolving conflicts in a healthy and respectful manner that will also build a stronger foundation in the relationship which will bode well for the future of the team and how you lead them.
You want to do more than simply solve the conflict; you also want to prevent future conflicts. Active Listening establishes that you are a manager who values their team members, supports their efforts and contributions and encourages them in all their endeavors.
That kind of goodwill will go a long way toward establishing a positive culture within the team and help you to be more successful in all aspects of team leadership.
Ignoring team conflicts will not make them go away. Unfortunately, most managers choose this approach when dealing with workplace conflict.
Inaction can actually sabotage your organization because if a problem goes unresolved, it can grow into resentment and that can derail future projects even after the dispute itself becomes irrelevant.
Inaction can also lead to tense relationships between your employees and this can hamper their ability to work well collaboratively in order to achieve the goals and projects of the team.
Therefore it is most important to make sure that you take into account everyone’s opinion. Team members feel able to express themselves without fear of your reaction, or of further inaction. As the leader, it is your responsibility to create a work environment that enables people to thrive, respect each other and then work well together.
Ignorance of the issue
Never assume that the only people affected by workplace conflict are those involved in the issue. Every employee in your office or department can be affected by the stress resulting from conflict.
It is very important to make yourself aware of all sides of the issue so that you can fairly help to resolve it in a way that will make all parties feel they were heard and that outcome is acceptable to all concerned.
Here are few more tips:
- Be open-minded when listening to the issue
- Do not take sides
- Follow company policies when resolving the issue
- Be respectful of the differences which may have sparked the issue
- Be mindful of your language when discussing the issue
- Get HR involved, but only when necessary
- Make sure the issue is truly resolved and the outcome is acceptable to the parties involved
Dealing with conflicts at work basically comes down to the issue of respect. Effective team leaders let their employees know that they value their contributions to the team, acknowledge those contributions, and support and encourage them to be the best they can be.
Therefore, when you do not actively listen or avoid dealing with conflict altogether, you appear to be saying that those disagreements are not worthy of your time.
In addition, making conflict into a competition occurs if you let your pride get in the way of your work and if you try to resolve conflicts simply from a position of authority, as this approach can create greater animosity.
Dealing with conflicts at work basically comes down to the issue of respect.
Keep these key management mistakes in mind, and you will help conflict become a tool for your organization’s success instead of allowing it to impact negatively on your team’s achievements.
Originally published by Bizcatalyst360
12 Phrases That Will Help You Resolve Any Conflict
Conflicts are an inevitable part of any workplace and a constant source of stress for many leaders. Conflict resolution is an important skill for any leader to master.
many other challenges, conflicts can actually present opportunities for positive change. Effective conflict resolution can build deeper relationships and foster more effective communication.
One of the issues many leaders face in conflict resolution is simply knowing what to say. Here are some effective phrases that I have coached my clients to use in times of conflict. Try them out the next time you’re faced with a conflict:
I sense that you’re feeling emotional about this topic. Is that right? Sometimes to break tension you need to label the emotion. Never ignore emotions, because they will only escalate. Labeling acknowledges what the person feels without judgment, helping them feel recognized and acknowledged and decreasing their tension.
Let’s take a breather before we think this through. Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break. The word breather is deliberate—giving pause to the situation and giving everyone involved a chance to take a few deep breaths.
Thank you for your candor—I appreciate your feedback. Most people who tell the truth don’t receive appreciation. The best way to resolve conflict is to remain open to all feedback, because resolution requires that people tell it it is.
I recognize your efforts and hard work. Most people are appreciated only for results, not for the effort that they put in—especially if that effort was part of something unsuccessful.
If you appreciate someone’s effort you are telling them they are valuable even if they haven’t succeeded.
Helping people feel appreciated and valued can establish a positive connection and help open up common ground.
Let’s work on this problem and fix it together. This phrase is important because instead of placing people on opposite sides of the conflict, you are signaling partnership. It shows that you care not just about resolving the current conflict but also about building and maintaining a spirit of collaboration.
Tell me more—I want to understand. Most people speak to be heard, but few take the time to understand. This phrase is powerful because everyone wants to be understood. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, just that you are willing to hear them out.
Let’s see what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. When you express concern for the work without placing blame, you shift the discussion from a defensive back-and-forth to a prevention-focused exploration.
What can we do to change the situation? The important word in this phrase is we—it’s not about what you can do or what you can tell them to do. Using we signals collaboration instead of hierarchy and problem-solving instead of finger-pointing.
Yes, you’re completely right. If you are miles apart, find something you can agree on together so you can start the conversation with this phrase. When people feel heard and validated, they’re more ly to engage in a constructive dialogue.
I wasn’t aware of this—tell me more. Stating your ignorance is sometimes a good place to begin defusing a situation. Stop talking and really listen; let the other person know that you are interested in what they are saying. Keep asking questions and listening empathetically until you get to the root of the conflict.
I am with you on that. It can be hard to hear yourself being blamed, but your willingness to be held accountable can work wonders. If you let people know you are with them, you can not only resolve the current situation more readily but also avoid future confrontations.
How can I support you? This phrase is one that every leader should use over and over and over again—in conflict, in dialogue, in conversation, in all communication. It eases stress, defuses conflicts and sets a positive tone for relationships.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders can make is trying to avoid conflict. Dealt with the right way conflict can be a force for positive change. It opens the channel to better communication and stronger relationships.
Lead from within: The bottom line is that conflict will always exist, but a satisfactory resolution and positive outcomes are within your power.
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world.Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundredsof companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadershipprogram is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performanceand make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadershipand Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly withthe title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World.
Her writing has appeared in HBR,Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others.
Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.