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5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict

Unresolved conflict

 ... often results in loss of productivity, the stifling of creativity, and the creation of barriers to cooperation and collaboration.

Leaders who don’t deal with conflict will eventually watch their good talent walk out the door in search of a healthier and safer work environment.

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5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict

5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/

forbes.com

4

Key Ideas

Leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand

Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. 

The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader.

Unresolved conflict

 ... often results in loss of productivity, the stifling of creativity, and the creation of barriers to cooperation and collaboration.

Leaders who don’t deal with conflict will eventually watch their good talent walk out the door in search of a healthier and safer work environment.

2 Major causes of conflict

  1. Communication: Conflict due to the lack of information, poor information, no information, or misinformation. Clear, concise, accurate, and timely communication of information will help to ease both the number and severity of conflicts.
  2. Emotions: Letting emotions drive decisions. Don't place emotional superiority ahead of achieving your mission.

How to effectively handle conflicts

  1. Define Acceptable Behavior. Create a framework for decisioning, use a published delegation of authority statement, encourage sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management .
  2. Hit Conflict Head-on. Intervene pro-actively.
  3. Don't play favorites, don’t get involved in drama, and don’t tolerate manipulative, self-serving behavior.
  4. Understand the other’s motivations prior to weighing in. Take the action that will help others best achieve their goals.
  5. The Importance Factor. Avoid conflict for the sake of conflict.
  6. View Conflict as Opportunity. Divergent positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in ways like minds can't even imagine.

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Interpersonal Issues

When it happens in the workplace, it can reduce productivity and make a dent in morale. 

It takes on the shape that one person, or a group of people, frustrates or hampers another person...

Types of Interpersonal Conflict
  • Policy Conflicts: disagreements about how to deal with a situation that affects both parties. 
  • Value Conflicts: they are typically pretty difficult to resolve because they are more ingrained.
  • Ego Conflicts: losing an argument, or being thought of as wrong, can actually damage a person’s self-esteem. This is like a power struggle.
What Causes Interpersonal Conflict
  • Frustration and stress
  • Misunderstandings
  • Lack of planning
  • Bad staff selection
  • Poor Communication

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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.

The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.

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