Expressing individual views and encouraging others to be vocal about their own views is a healthy practice and it can prevent communication problems in the workplace.
Tension isn’t always a bad thing; it is natural for people to disagree at times. If you think about it, tension and disagreements even make people in an organization think more creatively and come up with innovative ways to benefit the majority. When people agree to disagree, then differences are tackled in a professional manner without drama.
With responsible leadership at the helm of organizations, these disagreements may be turned to high-power brainstorming sessions that greatly benefit people. In the real world setting, conflict is inevitable. Having people of different personalities, work habits, and backgrounds work together in the same place every single day is bound to result in some form of conflict eventually. When left unaddressed or when addressed in the wrong way, these may begin to weigh heavily on everyone’s performance and professional relationships; which may eventually lead to anger, hurt, and even animosity. Senior leaders are cautioned to address these issues immediately so as not to get out of hand.
Below are some quick tips on how to deal with conflict in the workplace.
- Talk to everyone involved- immediately. The effects of conflict can escalate faster than you think, so best to gather everyone involved before the workday ends whenever possible. This way, the events are fresh in everyone’s memory. If you call them the next day, you’ll be lucky to identify who said what and when.
- After listening to both parties involved in the conflict remember that at the end of the day your main objective is to find common ground and reconcile people together. Don’t take sides, even if you think one of them is right! Taking sides will make the people you agree with feel superior over the other party, while those you don’t agree with will feel left out and neglected. Instead, allow everyone involved to speak his or her side of the conflict and then work on finding a common goal everyone could agree to. To be able to find a common ground to resolve the issues on hand, each party must be willing to be humble enough to compromise.
- Confront every negative feeling. Now is the time to address every negative feeling each party has for the others. These feelings need to be worked out and discussed to make sure everything is truly resolved, not just resolved in front of the boss.
If these three tips to help you to prevent communication problems you’re currently facing don’t work, consider assigning the people involved to different teams so they could let off steam and be productive at the same time. Don’t force two parties at war to work together if you can avoid it.
What about your team? How do you settle communication problems in the workplace? Share your tips!