Navigating Conflict At Work
When dealing with conflict in the office, it’s better to think about navigating rather than resolving because some problems are not solvable. According to Forbes reports, it's important to pick your battles. If you’re part of a particular conflict, stay out of the way. If you actually have a role in resolving the conflict, think about the right time and approach before wading in.
Strong managers won't make assumptions. Don’t assume what you see is all there is. Assume instead that every picture you are looking at is a jigsaw puzzle and that a few dozen pieces are missing, the article said.
It is important to observe the situation in its entirety. Collect all the facts you can before you act. And keep things in perspective. If a normally easy-to-work-with employee is suddenly uncooperative and uncommunicative, consider that there may be extenuating circumstances, according to an article on the Balance Careers website.
Verify the facts and investigate. If there is an independent source of information available that gives context to the conflict, explore it before you speak to the other party involved.
It is imperative that managers not procrastinate in responding. Dealing with conflict is not pleasant, but it's an important part of the job. When you have a plan, execute it.
Listen to all sides to the story. If you are a manager dealing with a complaint, contact the other person involved. Tell them the agenda so that they aren’t surprised. If you are part of the conflict and you want to address the issue, starting the discussion with a neutral topic emphasizes an attempt to ease the tension.
Determine the appropriate next steps. It may be an issue that requires all parties to sit down and talk it out. If that meeting takes place, you again need to decide on your role: Are you moderating a discussion, mediating a dispute or ultimately making a decision?
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