7 simple tips to master dealing with conflict

As a leader or even an individual contributor, you have had to deal with conflicts in your workplace. You joined, and new organization and some practices didn’t make sense. Or your senior colleges didn’t accept your feedback well. Your team was not delivering the right results, and some team members couldn’t agree on the problems and how to solve them. External team members disagreed and followed the processes to interact with your team to request their work. These are all examples of situations that might lead to conflict. Not resolving them as quickly as possible can lead to a lot of frustration, pain, discomfort, sadness, and sometimes anger.
The reality is that conflict is unavoidable in our lives. It is necessary, as it’s excellent if multiple people have different points of view about a subject. However, rules should be in place to deal with those differences. In a way that is fair and respectful for everyone.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss a few essential tips that you can take to deal with conflict in a positive way:

1. Make sure is understood the reason for the conflict

In this first phase is critical to ask questions and clarify two main points:

  1. What are the different points of view of each party?
  2. How did the disagreement raised in the first place?

Is important to ask as many questions as possible to ensure that everyone understands these 2 points well. It will be crucial to ensure the conflict is resolved successfully.

2. Choose wisely the place to talk

Secondly is essential to give some thought to where to have a proper discussion. Nowadays, with the remote/hybrid approach to work, it might end up being a small discussion. If this is not the case, you should have a private and neutral place to discuss.

3. Allow everyone to clarify their position about the conflict and actively listen

As much or more important than having the right place is to make sure that all parties have the opportunity to express their point of view. Additionally that there is a proactive engagement from others to understand each other.

4. Allow time to investigate the facts

If the reason for the conflict is a complex situation is ok to have some offline time to investigate more about each aspect of the conflict. Some issues in the workplace are complex and include many levels of politics, miscommunications, emotions, and other issues that add to some technical or operational situation.

5. Clarify the common goal and how all sides can meet it

When managing conflict, a common goal or goals must be kept in mind to make sure that the group moves forward in the direction that the organization wants to go. There are usually three aspects that are important to make sure that is clear at this stage:

  1. The main objective is to resolve the issue
  2. Secondly is to make sure that it doesn’t resurface again
  3. Align the actions to be taken with the organization’s strategy

6. Get an agreement on the best solution and on what each party is responsible for resolving the conflict

Once the conflict is clarified and discussed, possible solutions are time to agree on solutions and ways to move forward. There are a few ways to decide on the solution, from more democratic to less democratic, with their positives and negatives, but ultimately is going to be required to have a decision, and also essential to assign who is going to be responsible for doing each action required.

7. Review in the future periodically to make sure it was resolved

Lastly, reviewing future progress in the actions assigned to resolve the conflict is critical. Keep a dialogue with the parties involved to reassess their views about the actual conflict.

In conclusion, we must deal with conflict in our daily lives as it is part of human nature. The critical aspect, in particular, in an organizational context, is ensuring that conflict is managed accordingly so everyone can move forward respectfully.

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Conflict (process)

2 thoughts on “7 simple tips to master dealing with conflict”

  1. Pingback: Team Effectiveness - Jorge Figueiredo

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