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Monday, May 18, 2015

Resolving Workplace Conflicts

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We deal with conflicts in all areas of our life, from our wife and our children to our parents and our siblings. But the most difficult conflicts to resolve are usually not those we have with the people close to us, but are the ones we have in the workplace. We are better equipped to handle familial conflicts because of the foundation of relationship that is already in place, both before and after the conflict. Workplace conflicts are often in danger of being far more explosive than those conflicts in the home, simply because they entail people who hardly know one another. While there is no cure-all for ending, avoiding, or resolving workplace conflicts, there are some things you can do to ensure that you take care of conflicts when they pop up, diffusing them before they become something much bigger than they should be.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when dealing with conflict, especially in the workplace, is assigning blame. For instance, if you feel that someone on your project team is not doing any work, they are more likely to listen to you if you say, "I feel like I am doing all the work," instead of if you say "You don't do any work."

A great approach to take in resolving conflicts is the "us versus the problem" approach. Rather than instituting a "me versus you" situation, the "us versus the problem" approach acknowledges that there is a problem, and it aims to combine the forces of both individuals to work the problem out. This is also a great way to avoid placing blame, as the problem becomes something both people are fighting against together, instead of something that is being ascribed to one person.

Finally, although it might be tempting to do so, do not always involve your superiors in an argument. You can introduce bitterness into your relationship with your coworker very quickly when you involve someone else. Furthermore, no one looks good when a conflict is taken to a higher-up, no matter who is proven to be "right" or "wrong."

Conflict resolution is not always easy, but it is often necessary. Instead of fighting and making your conflicts worse, learn how to solve them.

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