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How to manage workplace conflict over the holiday period

The office can be a stressful place towards the last couple of months of the year. Between deadlines, preparing to have family and friends over for the holidays and planning time off, your co-workers might get a bit more disgruntled than usual.  

It’s important to learn how to handle these situations appropriately to avoid fracturing office relationships and workflow. You’d be surprised how much understanding how to diffuse workplace conflict can go a long way in your career. Workplace conflict doesn’t necessarily mean aggression. Conflict can arise due to a number of reasons. It could be miscommunication, competing commitments during the holiday period, or opposing opinions and approaches in the workplace. 

In this article, Pathways Australia will cover how dealing with conflict can put you on top of the situation and help you advance as an employee. Pathways Australia is a leading business management consultant that offers courses on soft skills such as conflict resolution training and other workplace training courses. Read on to find out the five steps you should follow if you are dealing with office conflict. 

1. Understand and Acknowledge the Conflict 

Getting your head around the root cause of conflict is a good place to start. There are several reasons why there could be disagreements. From differences in needs to working styles, pressures, values and goals, conflict is something that can often crop up in a workplace. 

By assessing the signs, you will be able to predict the stages of the situation and effectively prevent it from happening again. Conducting meetings with the concerned parties will also help in understanding the issue from different perspectives.  

2. Keep Lines of Communication Open 

Communication in the organisation is key. By holding conflict resolution meetings, you are able to get the involved people in a conversation together. This conversation helps exercise their emotional intelligence and might help them better understand each other’s perspectives. 

Here, focus on keeping the discussion on track. It’s of no help when co-workers generalise situations or blame each other. The next step in the process is a big part of engaging in constructive conversations. 

3. Listen 

Active listening is probably one of the most underrated skills in the workplace. It can help you eliminate misunderstandings, enhance productivity and solidify your workplace relationships. But, like all skills, it requires practice and patience. When in a discussion where a conflict comes up with your workmates, avoid overreacting and interrupting the parties during their discussion.

4. Develop a Plan 

By establishing a framework to go to, you make solving future problems in the organisation easier. With a plan in place, it is less likely that things will go wrong in the future. Use it to educate staff and allow them to use these tools as a way to tackle their own conflicts in the office. Plans might vary for different conflict management styles, but their function stays the same. 

Not every issue will have a cookie-cutter approach to solving it, but acknowledging that there is a system in place shows that you are actively trying to make the office a more efficient place to work in. A great place to learn how to make these plans is by enrolling in one of our conflict resolution training and employee engagement courses.. 

5. Follow Up With Your Team

Revisit your framework and see if there are ways to improve. Reach out to your colleagues and make sure that they are able to deal with the pressure of the workplace during the holiday period. There are many reasons for organisational conflicts, but every single one can be dealt with head-on if you have the right tools in place. 

To have a better understanding of how to deal with organisational conflict, check out Pathways Australia for a Conflict Resolution Training course. The course offers sessions in New South Wales, Victoria, online and onsite. Check the dates to find the perfect day for you!

 

What does a conflict resolution course cover? 

Pathways Australia covers the following topics in our managing conflict course:

– Causes of organisational conflict
Managing conflict for yourself or other individuals
Identifying your style to manage conflict
Setting standards and expectations
Using emotional intelligence techniques
Managing emotions during difficult conversations
Dealing with challenging behaviour

We recommend the dealing with conflict course for employees that are in roles like: 

– Mid-level to senior executives
– Team Leaders
– Support Workers
– Client-facing team members
– Anyone who finds it difficult to deal with conflict

For more details on our individual courses, shoot us an email or give us a call. One of our friendly staff members will walk you through the process and can suggest other e-learning courses to pair with our conflict resolution training course. For business enquiries, check out our consultancy services page

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