Conflict and The Workplace
Conflict is difficult. It reduces productivity and can delay the decision-making process. It is almost impossible to have a workplace without any conflict. There are many things that cause such problems, including differences of personalities, priorities, opinions, ideas and objectives, unmet needs, high levels of stress, insecurities and so on.
It is important that conflicts are managed and resolved before they spiral out of control. So how do you improve workplace relationships by resolving conflict? This takes special skills and resources; it requires excellent communication, listening, and empathy.
The first thing to do is gain a greater understanding of the source of the conflict. Very often, poor communication lies at the heart of the problem.
“Different communication styles can lead to misunderstandings between employees or between employee and manager. Lack of communication drives conflict ‘underground’.” Resolving Workplace Conflict
There are various other potential causes of conflict. These include different beliefs, values and understanding, for limited resources, clashes of personality and poor performance to name but a few. What is vital to understand is that it is nearly impossible to resolve a conflict without understanding what the source actually is.
Once you know what the source of the conflict is, you can start to resolve it. However, just as in medicine, your goal should be to be proactive in your approach. Hence, preventing conflict from occurring in the first place is advisable. Rising tensions should be identified and resolved before they turn into a conflict whenever possible.
“Time spent identifying and understanding natural tensions will help to avoid unnecessary conflict.”
5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict
Additionally, in doing this, you will be able to deal with a conflict head on in a much quicker way if it does occur. It is vitally important to not let tensions simmer, but to face them and resolve them as much as possible. In doing so, the entire workplace will be happier and more productive, and workplace relationships will be more cooperative and efficient.
Using The DiSC Profile to Reduce Conflict
People are complex. No two people are alike; their personalities are wide and varied. They have different priorities and see things differently. Sometimes this will inadvertently cause resistance and disagreements. Fortunately resources are available that help us clearly understand our own behavior and how to relate to other people.
Successful communication when interacting with another behavioral style is essential in managing workplace conflict. In the event that coworkers aren’t connecting with each other, the Everything DiSC Workplace Profile can certainly help them appreciate different types of behavioral styles.
The DiSC Profile is designed to help participants learn to identify the behaviors and needs of those around them. Conflict management and resolution are challenges that managers deal with frequently in the corporate world. The DiSC Profile has been proven to be very successful in managing/resolving conflict and improving productivity in the workplace.
The Styles of Conflict
Another essential element of dealing with conflict in the workplace is understanding the different styles of conflict. There are a number of identified styles and being aware of these and being able to recognize them will also help you come to a resolution much more quickly. The styles can be compared to styles of communication: everybody has their own style, and everybody responds either positively or negatively to other styles. The first style, and one often seen in managers, is the competitive style.
“People who tend towards a competitive style take a firm stand, and know what they want. They usually operate from a position of power.” Conflict Resolution – Resolving Conflict Rationally and Effectively
The second style is the collaborative style, where someone tries to keep everybody happy. Then, there is the compromising style, seen in people who try to find a solution that is perfect for nobody, but also not detrimental to anybody. The fourth style is accommodating, whereby people put their own needs aside in order to help others. Finally, there is the avoiding style, where people retreat within themselves in order to avoid conflict.
Each of these styles has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the collaborative style can lead to strong and fair resolutions, but it can also mean that no solution would ever be found. By being able to identify the styles of those involved in conflict, it is possible to also come up with a solution that helps everybody.
The key to resolving conflict in the workplace, however, is to make sure that people are allowed to have their say in a respectful manner, and that they are being listened to. Managers and leaders should be fully trained in how to deal with these problems. At the same time, they must understand that this should be a holistic approach, and not a top-down enforcement.