How to Resolve Workplace Conflict

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Resolving workplace conflict may seem a daunting task. But it’s really not.

Everyone having a conflict will have a higher emotional response, so it’s important to stay calm and create a safe place for them to discuss their grievance.

To resolve workplace conflict, meet with each person involved by themselves first. Let them talk it out and explain the problem without offering any advice or making any judgments. It may be hard but let them talk and get it all out.

When you feel each person is done getting it all out, ask if they would be ok getting together with the other party, with  you there to moderate.

When you get both parties together, set the stage quickly. Let them know this is not a place to argue. And get them both to agree that you are in control of the meeting and that you can stop it at any time.

Once you establish that you are in control, let them know that you are giving each person a chance to explain their side of the situation and that nobody in the room is to interrupt, no matter how much they may want to, or how much they may want to interject. If anyone interrupts, the meeting is over. Make sure they understand.

Then it will be hard, but keep that control and let each person repeat what they told you.

Then once you finish letting each person air their grievances, ask for some silence for everyone to think about what they just heard.

Offer each person a chance to respond to the other, again with no interruptions.

And remind them of the ground rules. No name calling, or profanity. They must stay civil and stick to the matter at hand.

Then you may want to help each person understand the position of the other.

If, in the end, no common ground or understanding can be found, then you will need to make a decision on what to do. If either person is acting belligerent, it may be time to let that person go. But, in most cases, it’s simply an emotional misunderstanding and may just take time. Suggest that each person not speak to the other except if necessary and then it must remain civil. Time may heal it.

Either way, this process will allow each person to get their feelings out in the open and will hopefully show them how the other feels. This may not be easy but it may end up bringing your staff closer together.

We are all different and we all have different lives. It’s healthy to understand different points of view even if you don’t agree with them.

May 18, 2018 |

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