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10 Sage Advices for Workplace Conflict

Updated on September 10, 2019
Aaron251 profile image

Aaron has been dealing with competitive pool and work pressure from Info Tech industry and he translates them into written means.


Conflict in a workplace is inevitable; this can range from clash of interest, peer pressure, trust issue and the list goes on. Unlike schools and college, there is no Counselling Department or Professional Psychologist in every workplace and managers usually resort to sending their personnel to attend stress-release programme and assume magic to happen right after they finish their programme. I will show you 10 sage advices that I have found to be effective in dealing the ever-changing workplace conflict based on my experience.

1. Appreciate the Resolution Process as much as the End-Product

Getting on good terms and understanding the personal space of others may be an obvious sign that a conflict conversation has gone well - not unless you forced them to get over with the problem just so that you can get on with your life. It is important to appreciate the resolution process by looking at the source of the conflict and how it escalates into a bitter argument. Having both parties to understand the process can lead to a more creative collaboration between the two to find the workaround of the issues and to boost in productivity and professionalism.

2. Accepting the Fact That the Hard Truth is the Harsh Reality

Being a top manager or leader in an organisation does not mean you can abuse your power to make a final decision of a conflict whilst disregarding the actual point of view from those who are involved in the conflict. Moreover, it is not professional to dictate this person or that person is telling the truth and telling lies. Having a discussion with those involved in the conflict and listening to their point of view will definitely help them to realise the actual problem and resolution will follow from this state of realisation.

3. Peer Rapport is of Paramount Importance

Building a good rapport with all personnel is a lost leadership value that is hardly being practised in this contemporary world. By gathering those who are involved in the conflict, listening to their honest problems and inputs will definitely create a more comfortable and constructive environment and positive vibe in a workplace.

Showing interest of the perspectives from those involved in the conflict will help us to understand the bigger picture of the issue and also, the underlying solution to that problem.

4. Physical Presence and Availability Matters

Giving full attention to the problem voiced by the individuals involved in the conflict is important - not by pretending to be on the computer, on the phone or doing something else during the entire conversation because this shows us that we are evading the problem instead of helping them to get the workaround of the issue.

Golden rule: give equality of care and attention to everyone in any situation.

5. Find Common Ground for More Long-Lasting Success

Individuals with problems and conflicts always see themselves focussing on the differences and this what keeps them fighting their ideals. Common mistake is by dividing the individuals who are in conflict with one another with the assumption that, that would give them enough time to think through their problem and the actual reality is the opposite.

Thus, a common interest and values between the two must be uncovered in order to find the right solution that work for both of them whilst bringing them together at the same time.

6. Acknowledge that a Person's Conflict Does Not Define Quality Of Work

Just because a person's true color and attitude is exposed out of conflict, that does not mean their quality of work and "best qualities" are synonymous to their attitude. Feelings such as frustation and anger can drive any individuals into a ridiculous behaviour sometimes.

It is best to see both sides of the coin instead of being one-sided in making judgement.

7. Silence is Golden

Employees who are in a state of depression from conflict, stress and frustation, sometimes need their own personal space to think through their problem and how they can handle the issue by themselves. If we are too hellbent to step into their personal space, they would definitely feel uncomfortable and they would feel that this is their conflict and that, they are the source of conflict. Being too involved in their conflict, might lose their chance to speak their mind of the problem.

8. Be Curious at all times

Asking questions like "Help me understand ... " or "I am sorry but I am not quite sure what you meant when you said that ...".

These questions will get that person talking and this will allow us to understand what really matters to her whilst uncovering the underlying problem and the gap in their effort to mitigate the conflict.

9. Uncover the Hidden Fear

All the emotional pressure from ego, rude behaviour, and newbie bullying all roots from one centralised fear of "losing something". The greater the fear, the more emotional or ego is the person.

Work among the employees or co-worker what are their greatest fear from the conflicts and how to get around with those fear.

10. Be Optimistic

Being optimistic and to look into the future is important for both leader in an organisation and also the employees who suffer from workplace conflict. Just because the employees share their personal view of the conflict on this week, that does mean there is no chance for the employees to see a bigger picture of the problem and alternatives on the coming days.

Ask questions on the employees what are their plans should the conflict persist and what are the possible resolution of the problem from their point of view.

In conclusion, conflict in workplace is the result of different of opinions and perspectives. By listening to their problems, we are able to see the bigger picture and underlying issue of the problem which in turn, helps the employees to see the workaround of the problem themselves.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 aaron


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