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7 Steps to Defuse Workplace Tension

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207680

entrepreneur.com

7 Steps to Defuse Workplace Tension
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Situation 1: Jeff and Maria are co-workers at a company that lets employees set their own hours. Jeff usually saunters into the office about 10 a.m., while Maria is there promptly at 9 a.m. She often has to take care of Jeff's customers due to his lateness.

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Address It Directly

When conflict arises, you need to raise the issue with the parties involved. 
Emphasize the need for your employees to address it. Explain that negative feelings and thoughts can be handled in an appropriate manner that can actually make them positive and productive.

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Listen to Both Sides

Speak with each party separately to gain their perspective on what the tension is all about. 

Make sure that along with any emotional information, you discuss specific facts or events that led up to or inflamed the situation.

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Bring Both (All) Parties Together

Bring Both (All) Parties Together

Allow them to share their version of the events or issues. 

Often, this step will elicit issues or facts that the other party was unaware of.

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Find Common Ground

Find Common Ground

Each side has some concern the other party can agree with, and this will become the foundation that enables you to bridge the gap that separates the parties involved.

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Encourage Compromise

For the sake of working together, each person must be willing to give in a little. 

This step may take a while because the sides are already firmly entrenched in their own viewpoint or version of what should happen to resolve the issue. 

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Confront Negative Feelings

The feelings and thoughts that arose during the conflict stage have to be worked out. 

Unless this happens to everyone's satisfaction, the problem may go away for the moment, but the hard feelings or thoughts will persist, and then a repeat conflict might occur.

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Be Positive

Be Positive

Resolve to address future conflicts in a positive manner. 

The model, of course, would be similar to how this one is being resolved.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Embrace conflict

Don’t avoid conflict or pretend nothing has happened as it usually will only get worse.

  • If you notice a conflict between employees, encourage them to work it out.
  • If a ...

Resolving conflict

  • Talk together. Each person should have adequate time to say what he or she believes the other party needs to hear. 
  • Listen carefully to gain understanding. Give your complete attention to the person who is talking without interrupting. 
  • Resolution is possible only when you find points of agreement
  • Guide the conversation without taking sides. 
  • Be quick to forgive. Every conflict needs a clear resolution that acknowledges hurt feelings and finds a solution that begins to mend them.

Stress and motivation

Used effectively, stress can motivate us to accomplish more than we had imagined possible. Stress can jolt us to reach our potential. Without stress, we’d feel rudderless and without purpose.

Not all stress is bad for you

  • “Good stress”: which psychologists refer to as “eustress,” is the stress we feel when we’re excited about something.
  • Acute stress: when something surprises us or catches us off guard. Acute stress is the body’s response to ensure you react and take measures to deal with the unexpected situation. It has no lasting negative effects if we deal with it quickly and move on.

Build your resilience

Resilience is how we deal with stress effectively so we “bounce back” after a difficult time.

As we deal with issues that cause tension and strain, we learn to face adversity, deal with significant issues and overcome problems. We learn how to formulate realistic plans and carry them out.

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Tension can be positive

In a business, conflict and tension, if well managed, can be positive and allow employees to grow. 

A business that has no conflict and tension is often stagnant; people are not c...

There are three sides to every story

... “my side”, “your side” and the truth. 

It is often helpful to take each party aside separately to find out their concerns, but over and above this try to find a neutral party who may have witnessed or seen the conflict from a different angle.

Talk it out

Once you have addressed the parties separately, tension will not be resolved until the parties are able to talk face to face. 

This must always be done with a mediator who can remain objective. The mediator would have heard both sides and can better portray the feelings of each party to the other.