How Does Workplace Conflict Occur?
Any workplace will know its fair share of conflicts.
Conflicts can happen due to a variety of reasons:
- opposing personality traits
- poor communication skills
- opposing values
- poor interpersonal skills
- and many other reasons
What matters, particularly within management, is that there is someone available who can deal with conflict resolution.
Some companies now advocate that each employee should take part in some form of conflict resolution training, thereby hopefully reducing the number of conflicts that take place. The Everything DiSC Workplace Profile along with Everything DiSC Comparison Reports are excellent tools that are used to understand each others behaviors and priorities when in conflict situations, highlight pitfalls to avoid when working through conflict, and provide specific strategies for resolution. Companies get the most value out of Everything DiSC Workplace Profiles by adding effective conflict resolution courses using the Everything DiSC Workplace Training Kit and setting up an EPIC Account that provides a way to issue and manage all EPIC Online Profiles.
The Problem with Unresolved Conflict
Conflict is unavoidable. What is avoidable, however, is for conflict to become a full-blown argument or shouting match, or even for it to become physical. What is also avoidable, and incredibly important, is that conflicts are resolved.
When conflicts go unaddressed, they can have a negative impact on productivity and teamwork. Using conflict resolution strategies in the workplace will help maintain a healthy work environment. These strategies will help employees understand their reactions to conflict and how these reactions affect those around them. It also helps them discover more constructive ways to deal with conflict.
Kantola Productions – www.kantola.com
Hints and Tips for Conflict Resolution
One of the most important ways of dealing with an emerging or even established conflict at work is by asking the right questions.
Your focus needs to be on resolving the conflict and improving the situation. Invite the other person to sit down with you, and ask questions.
These questions include what they would like to see happen, how that can be made possible, whether they are willing to listen to another perspective and share the impact of the experience on themselves, whether there are ideas that could create a compromise, and what the most important issues are within the conflict. While you ask these questions, you should, under no circumstances, agree or disagree with what the person is saying. You are there to listen and to gather facts, not to express an opinion. If you do express an opinion, you will have chosen a side and someone who resolves conflicts has to remain neutral at all times.
As you may well have imagined, resolving conflict is all about having excellent listening and communication skills. Your goal is to find out what the root of the conflict is, and coming to a solution that is suitable for all the parties involved. You have to be able to listen, communicate and ask questions in a non-judgmental way, as well as showing a great deal of empathy and care, while at the same time staying neutral. However, before you even start this, you have to be able to define exactly what conflict is.
Conflict arises from differences, both large and small. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences appear trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is often at the core of the problem. These needs can be:
- a need to feel safe and secure
- a need to feel respected and valued
- or a need for greater closeness and intimacy
In order to regulate and resolve a conflict, particularly if you are involved in that conflict, do not let your actions be guided by your feelings. During a conflict, you will feel threatened and under attack, which releases a range of hormones in our body, essentially triggering the fight or flight response. A good conflict resolution professional is able to separate themselves from that feeling, in order to create a neutral ground in which conflict can be solved.
The natural response to conflict is “Fight or Flight.” But in reality there are more than just these two responses to conflict. Each of us reacts to conflict in a unique way. We have our own goals, our own fears, and our own ways to get what we need. DiSC Profiles help us to not only understand ourselves better, but also to give others what they need so we can get what we want. We can learn to discuss and resolve our differences using the non-threatening language we learn from DiSC Profiles.