Workplace conflicts are unavoidable. With so many personalities and opinions under “one roof”, disputes are bound to happen.

But this doesn’t spell unsolvable trouble. In fact, with the proper conflict resolution strategies, workplace conflicts can be growth opportunities.

In this article, we’ll examine workplace conflict examples and causes. We’ll also explore four highly effective strategies for resolving conflicts and enhancing your team’s collaboration for even greater success.

Workplace conflicts examples and their causes

Many of us have faced clashes in the workplace – a whopping 85% of employees, to be exact.

Let’s look at some common workplace conflicts examples and their causes:

  • Interdependence conflict: Relying on others to complete tasks often leads to disagreements over responsibilities.
  • Leadership conflict: Differences in leadership styles, communication preferences, or expectations between leaders and team members can lead to misunderstandings.
  • Working style conflict: Varied preferences in work approaches (e.g. differences in work pace and breaks) can cause friction during collaborative tasks.
  • Personality conflict: Clashes between personalities can create significant misunderstandings and tension in collaboration.
  • Background-based conflict: Disparities in professional or cultural backgrounds and experiences among team members often result in conflicting opinions.

If left unresolved, workplace conflicts can escalate into significant issues for a company, resulting in decreased productivity, increased employee turnover, damaged business reputation, and even potential legal expenses. All of this can have a detrimental effect on your company culture and ultimately impact your overall results.

So, it’s crucial to manage and resolve them efficiently.

Top 4 strategies for conflict resolution in the workplace

Here are the top four ways to approach and resolve conflicts in your organisation.

1. Address workplace conflicts as early as possible

Remember the old saying, “What you can do today, don’t leave for tomorrow”? Well, it rings especially true when it comes to conflict resolution in the workplace.

If left unresolved, issues tend to snowball, eventually exploding into much bigger problems than if they were addressed immediately. That’s why it’s crucial to deal with conflicts as soon as you notice them to prevent causing more trouble down the line.

2. Listen actively and empathetically

Active listening is critical in resolving workplace conflicts. You want everyone involved to feel like they’re heard and understood. That’s how you get to the heart of the matter and figure out what’s causing the conflict. Once you’ve got that down, it’s much easier to figure out what to do next and find a solution.

So, ensure everyone feels comfortable speaking their minds about what’s bothering them. Keep the atmosphere positive, and set some ground rules if needed. This way, you can uncover the root issues and work together to find the best way forward.

3. Focus on common goals and solutions

Having a common goal in conflict management motivates people to resolve issues. The best way to find this common goal is through, again, open and empathetic discussion.

When discussing, aim to generate several possible solution options, ideally 3-5. Then, brainstorm with the conflicting employees until you’ve explored all possibilities and settle on one that aligns with all parties’ perspectives.

4. Monitor and follow up

Once everyone involved has agreed on a conflict resolution and the necessary steps towards it, it’s essential to monitor how things progress and revisit the topic in the future. This ensures that team members continue to work towards the agreed-upon solution and maintain open communication throughout the process.

For instance, about a month after the dispute, you can organise meetings with the affected employees, both one-on-one and in a group setting, to inquire about their progress and if there are any lingering issues that you, as their employer or manager, can address to smooth out collaboration further.

Workplace conflict management: Do it the right way

Conflicts are a natural part of our professional lives. However, there are several steps you can take to resolve conflicts effectively and prevent them from recurring.

The best way to do so?

Establish both conflict resolution and prevention strategies.

While we’ve discussed tips for resolving conflicts, it’s equally important to learn from each workplace conflict and the actions taken to resolve it. This prepares you for similar situations in the future and allows you to strengthen conflict management skills within your team.

Interested in professional assistance with workplace conflict resolution?

 The Fresh HR Insight team is here to help. With our extensive knowledge and experience in conflict management and effective communication strategies, we deliver actionable insights and customised solutions tailored to your company’s specific needs.

SHARYN – WATMAR PROPERTY MAINTENANCE:

If you use Paulette’s services, you can rest assured that if you have any problems with your staff, she’ll have you covered. You’ll have everything you need to work through the issues so that it’s good for everybody.

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