Human Resources

How to Deal with Conflict in the Workplace

Sep 14, 2015

Conflict gets a bad rap most of the time. Not all conflict is bad. Conflict in the workplace, when used constructively, can really do the organization some good. It is not an easy place to get to, though. According to Forbes Magazine, there are 5 leading ways to deal with conflict in the workplace. This is a large part of being a leader. Below are some helpful tips.
1. Define Acceptable Behavior– When employees know what their defined boundaries are; things can tend to be a little more black and white. Knowing what is definitely acceptable and what is definitely not can minimize conflict.
2. Hit Conflict Head-on– When there is any sign of conflict, it is best to take care of it immediately. The longer conflict goes unapproached, the worse things will get. Even better, as a leader, seek out areas of conflict before they arise. When talking about a new subject, point out areas of potential conflict and talk about how that would be confronted and the outcome, this can diffuse conflict before it begins.
3. What’s In It For Me– Knowing other teammates motivations help to avoid conflict. As a leader, if you understand why your team members are making their argument, it can help you come up with a solution that pleases all parties.
4. The Importance Factor– Is the issue at hand personally that important? Is it vital to the mission of the team? These are questions that can help to decide if the issue is worth the conflict.
5. View Conflict as Opportunity– Conflict is not always a bad thing. Having an open mind and viewing conflict as an opportunity to learn a new point of view or new solution, can foster a whole new opportunity one mind or the same opinions is not capable of.

Understanding conflict styles

Conflict is something every workplace must deal with. At Extra Help, we have learned to embrace it. Through conflict, we have made some great realizations that, without a difference of opinion, we would have not came up with. We deal with issues head on, consider individuals background and reasons for the way they feel, and work towards a goal of compromise with an open mind. If you are looking to pin point conflict in the workplace we recommend each of your team members take the Strength Finders quiz, which will help identify what makes each person tick. We also recommend reading The Challenger Sale as it is great insight on how conflict is not always a bad thing. Both of these resources can provide you actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build effective teams.