4 Steps to Manage Employee Conflict and Improve Morale - Deepstash
4 Steps to Manage Employee Conflict and Improve Morale

4 Steps to Manage Employee Conflict and Improve Morale

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4 Steps to Manage Employee Conflict and Improve Morale

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It's not about the argument

It's not the disagreement that is the problem, but its impact on the workplace that must be managed. When channeled correctly, differing opinions can bring about positive change and new ideas.

When employees are engaged in a conflict, don't take sides or assume that the dispute must be brought to an end fast. Employees don't always have to agree with each other. Healthy disagreement should be expected and even encouraged, provided those involved are not rude or disrespectful. 

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When conflicts occur, it's common to metaphorically "turn away" from the other person. We see the other person through a negative lens, focusing on what's missing, what's wrong, or the other person's flaws. 

Remind the individuals that they are on the same team. Ask them to think about how much they value their position at the company and how important it is for them to work well together. This shift in their thinking brings the bigger picture into play as it reminds them that they are a part of the larger organization.

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How your employees relate and speak to each other is often more important than the topic at hand. Understanding how they interact is key to helping them resolve the conflict and move forward.

Many people don't realize the impact their tone of voice or approach can have on other people. If one person feels attacked, they probably won't pay attention to what the other person is saying, even if they make an important point. Instead, they will likely focus on themselves and their reaction to how the other person was speaking to them.

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  • Suggest that each person start the conversation by stating their intentions. For example: "This situation is hard for both of us. I'd like to share my thoughts on this project, and then I'd like to hear what you think." 
  • Recommend that one person speak first while asking the other to listen with curiosity and interest. 
  • Have them plan to offer one or two main points or takeaways for the other person. Let the person listening know that they can ask questions once the speaker is finished. 
  • Then have the employees switch roles.

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The next time an argument between employees breaks out in your office, observe how your employees are interacting with each other and then teach them these practical ways to have a more effective conversation.

When you address the negativity between two employees, you empower them to regain control, boost their confidence, and break poor communication patterns within your organization. This makes your entire team feel respected and valued.

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