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4 Tips For Conflict Resolution In Workplace Relationships

Understand ConflictFirst Attempt to Understand the Origin of Conflict

Almost everybody has gone through a period where there was some sort of conflict with a colleague.  Sometimes, this was a full argument and, other times, it was a simple dislike of someone else’s actions or personality.  The reality is that it is impossible to expect everybody within a company to get along.  This is why it is so important that conflict resolution skills and techniques are in place within any business.  Conflicts themselves are not really the problem, but rather they become a problem when they are not addressed and resolved appropriately.

Left to their own, the impact they have on teamwork and productivity can be very negative, creating an unhealthy working environment.  Various tools and techniques exist in order to avoid this, which include such things as decision making skills, leadership skills and problem solving abilities.  Let’s take a look at a number of techniques that can help resolve various conflicts.

Listening for StressListening and Hearing are Vital

It has been said that most of us listen not to hear what someone else says, but to reply to the other person’s statements.  This is something that must be avoided within conflict resolution.  It is important to listen attentively and actually hear what is being said, thereby, understanding the issue that is at play.

“The only way to settle a dispute or solve any kind of a problem is to listen carefully to what the other person is saying.  Perhaps they will surprise you with reason, or their point is actually true.” 
13 Tools for Resolving Conflict in the Workplace, with Customers and in Life

You must also be able to hear what is not being said.  When someone is going through a conflict, they will have intense and negative emotions, and this will cloud how they express certain things.  Hence, you have to be able to understand what is really going on without the accompanying emotional factor.

Relieving Stress

When conflict is present, people are stressed.  Nobody likes being in a situation of unhappiness, which means they start to release cortisol, the stress hormone.  Once this floods through the body, people find themselves in a perpetual state of fight or flight.  This means they may be incredibly alert, but their perception of reality is actually off.  This is why one of the biggest conflict resolution skills is the ability to relieve stress.

“Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face.  If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.”  Conflict Resolution Skills

When people are stressed, they become defensive.  They will no longer be able to see the other person’s point of view.  Additionally, they experience certain feelings, such as tightness across the chest, which also doesn’t aid in coming to a calm agreement or resolution.  Hence, the role of a mediator, often a leader or manager, is to first diffuse the situation and then address it.

Take ActionImmediate Action

Finally, in order to resolve a conflict, it must be addressed head on, straight away.  If it is left to simmer, it is very easy for it to escalate and become worse.  By not addressing an issue, a culture of gossip is often created, thereby forming two camps, supporting either side of the argument.  In most cases, the majority of people in these camps had no involvement with the original conflict at all.

“Unresolved workplace conflicts can quickly impact on workplace climate or culture (in smaller organisations).  Whole teams are quickly affected as conflict spreads and other employees become involved.  Productivity, performance and workplace relationships are impacted quickly when conflict takes hold.”
Workplace Conflict Resolution Tips and Strategies

About 

Co-owner/Co-founder of Intesi! Resources. Educated as an architect I transitioned to technology during my career in architecture. Intesi! Resources was founded in 2002 and my focus is everything Web/eCommerce related from the design and development of our site to all the marketing activities involved. I also provide significant support for our clients on all our products and how they are used to deliver assessment-driven learning solutions that develop self-awareness and interpersonal skills.

This entry was posted in Conflict Resolution, Stress and tagged on by .

About Steve Giles

Co-owner/Co-founder of Intesi! Resources. Educated as an architect I transitioned to technology during my career in architecture. Intesi! Resources was founded in 2002 and my focus is everything Web/eCommerce related from the design and development of our site to all the marketing activities involved. I also provide significant support for our clients on all our products and how they are used to deliver assessment-driven learning solutions that develop self-awareness and interpersonal skills.

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