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How to deal with uneasy tension in the office - SmartCompany

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.

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How to deal with uneasy tension in the office - SmartCompany

How to deal with uneasy tension in the office - SmartCompany

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/leadership/how-to-deal-with-uneasy-tension-in-the-office/

smartcompany.com.au

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Key Ideas

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 challenging one another and bringing new creative ideas to the table. 

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.

Build on common ground

No matter how much conflict and tension there may be between two parties there is usually something that can agree on. Using this as a foundation, one can more easily bridge the gap between the conflicting parties.

Compromise

In a working relationship, the resolution must be reached as people need to continue working together. Compromise is essential to find a resolution that allows everyone to continue with business as usual.

Confront negative feelings

Negative feelings that come up during the conflict need to be confronted. If they have not been fully worked out they need to be brought up again. 

If this is not done effectively in the beginning things may look like they are sorted out only to resurface sometime later.

Create a positive work environment

There are things that a business owner or manager can do to reduce the chance of conflict and tension happening. 

  • Have an environment where employees feel like they are part of the bigger picture and buy into owners’ and management’s vision for the company.
  • Have something in place where employees feel they can anonymously air their grievances, be this a management open-door policy, or a suggestion box. 

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Ask questions

It helps you preserve your neutrality.
It is effective in getting others to pause, reflect, and get clear with themselves about what the problem actually is. 
You may get each ...

Be mindful during a conflict situation
  • All issues are best dealt with as soon as all involved are calm.
  • Start with one-on-one conversations to get the details of the issue from both perspectives.
  • Recognize that there is no objective reality of the situation.
Probing questions to ask

Once you have the basics of what happened and how long it has been going on, you can move on to asking more probing questions:

  • What is the other person saying?
  • How does what you've been hearing go against your values?
  • What is the difference between your two perspectives?
  • What aspects of this conflict do you believe you're responsible for?
  • Can you put yourself in your coworker's shoes? How does she feel?
  • If we were to think outside of the box, how could this issue be resolved?
  • What will happen to you if this issue isn't resolved through this discussion?
  • What would you offer to do or change to help resolve this issue? What would you like in return?
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.

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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