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What causes conflict in the workplace?

A simple discussion on different ideas can easily lead to a conflict in the workplace. Sometimes, it is because the ideas are not communicated properly. At other times, it is because the interests of both parties are in contrast. However, nearly every time, these conflicts are manageable and even preventable with the right conflict resolution training.

There are instances when a conflict goes too far. An argument can turn into threatening remarks, and that overwhelms the professional and ethical responsibility of the persons involved. But, what causes these conflicts? Why do people become unlike themselves? And, most importantly, what can be done to ensure that conflicts in the workplace are managed before they cause any damage?

What is conflict?

Workplace conflict is a common, yet often overlooked problem in organisaions today. Conflict in the workplace can take many forms, from disagreements between co-workers to larger-scale conflict between departments or managers and employees. It can lead to lost productivity, absenteeism, and even staff turnover. Because of the potential negative consequences of conflict, it is important for orgaisaions to have a strategy for conflict resolution. Conflict resolution training can help employees of all levels learn how to identify and resolve conflict in a constructive and effective way. By teaching employees how to effectively communicate and manage conflict, organisations can help create a more positive work environment and improve overall workplace productivity.

How to resolve workplace conflicts?

Normally, a manager or leader would be expected to resolve any arising conflicts among the employees. It is one of the most important skills of a good leader to know how to manage their people effectively to work towards the organisational goals as a team. 

Being in charge of employees, you might have come across all sorts of people. It is not easy to manage people and their emotions, and that is exactly what conflict management is all about. There are conflict resolution training courses that you can enrol in to maximise your conflict management skills as a leader. Read on to understand a general overview of how conflicts in the workplace should be addressed.

Identify the reason

Identifying the source of any problem is the first step to take. If you identify the cause of the conflict in time, you can come up with the right solutions to ensure that the conflict is managed effectively. However, it is necessary that you listen to both parties before arriving at a conclusion about what or who caused the conflict.

Read between the lines

Many times, conflicts occur as a result of a build-up of negative emotions or previous incidents that were not addressed. The relationship between two employees may have started to deteriorate months ago after a certain incident or argument, and that might have led to the recent conflict that you are trying to resolve. A problem-solver should ask questions that not only identify the root cause of the problem but also allow the employees to feel comfortable opening up to them. 

Look for answers

The conflict has already been identified, but how will it be resolved? The most important part of conflict resolution relies on finding the right answers to the problem. Ask the parties involved what they would like to do now, or if they have any reasonable solutions to offer. Take their solutions and weigh the pros and cons of each option, shortlisting the most practical solution to manage their relationship and the situation.

Convince and negotiate

It is likely that one party may agree to the shortlisted solution(s) but one may not. Either way, take responsibility to offer a reasonable solutions to the conflict without being unjust to any of them and to convince them to meet at the middle ground. Normally, this would require some sort of compromise on both sides, but will form a neutral relationship between them.

Take precautions

Once all parties have agreed to a solution, a discussion should be held to have agree on boundaries. What limitations each party has and what responsibilities they have towards each other should be clearly defined with a guideline of what should be done if conflicts arise between them in the future.

Enrol in a Conflict Resolution Training Course

Our one-day conflict resolution training course is ideal for managers to prepare for difficult situations in the workplace and to manage difficult behaviour or contrasting interests. 


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