No work environment is devoid of conflict, which is why everyone, but especially people who are in charge, should have some knowledge of conflict resolution and how to diffuse situations before they escalate into an even bigger conflict. Since everyone is different, in a conflict, you’ll find multiple perspectives that can seem like complete opposites. While this seems like a challenging thing to deal with, there are conflict resolution strategies that you can apply to any situation that you fear might cause trouble at work. Today, we thought we’d talk about 4 of them.
Sometimes, you have to also learn how to negotiate a solution when everything else fails.
4 Conflict Resolution Strategies to Keep in Mind
1. Consider All Points of View
If you’re in charge of resolving conflicts at work, then you should know that the first step you have to take whenever a conflict arises is to identify the parties that disagree and consider their points of view. This means not favoring someone’s opinion over another’s or trying to play favorites. It’s quite clear that this kind of attitude would only lead to more conflict. Everyone should be equal in your eyes, so take the time to listen to their concerns before trying to come up with a way to resolve the conflict.
2. Don’t Make a Hasty Decision
First of all, if the people who depend on you coming up with a conflict resolution idea see that you’ve made your decision in an instant, they might think that you haven’t given it enough thought and feel wronged. Second of all, this can actually happen without you even realizing it. In your haste to look determined and effective, you might end up making the wrong decision and escalating the conflict. Which is why we advise you to take your time before deciding upon a solution and carefully consider all the information you have about the situation.
3. Brainstorm Solutions
Given the fact that you’re not the person involved in the conflict, but rather someone who’s trying to mediate it, you should always involve the respective parties in the decision-making process. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas as to what the best course of action is. The quality of the ideas doesn’t matter as much. What matters is to get them interested in talking things over and coming up with solutions to resolve their conflict. Be as open-minded as possible with all the ideas, no matter how strange they may sound at the beginning. Just remember to establish some guidelines before you meet for the brainstorming session. Inform the parties that they shouldn’t attack each other, but try to understand the other’s point of view.
4. Allow Negotiation
Ideally, after the brainstorming session, you’ve managed to reach a conclusion that satisfies everyone. However, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, you have to also learn how to negotiate a solution when everything else fails. Listen to both parties, what they don’t agree with, and what they wish to see change, and you’re on the right track.
Whenever you have to come up with creative workplace conflict resolution strategies, revisit the guide above and try to apply it to your situation.
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