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How to deal with workplace conflict

by | Nov 29, 2022

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It’s no secret that work, in some form or another, plays a huge role in our lives. Many of us spend 8 or more hours a day at the office. With so much of our time taken up by these duties, it is important that you get along with the colleagues around you.

Working side-by-side with the same people day in and day out can easily create a strong bond within any team. Surrounded by familiar faces every day, it’s easy to start looking at your coworkers as family – they become like second parents or siblings. This tight-knit unit can make tackling difficult tasks much easier; after all, working together is always better than competing alone. Additionally, spending so much time among colleagues can foster more comforting and congenial behaviour between everyone. People will be more willing to take extra care of each other in times of need, help each other learn new skills, and give kind demonstrations when needed. 

But with this closeness comes a few issues. Conflict is something that can easily arise within the workplace, even with teams that consider themselves close and ‘tight-knit’. Just like your actual family, when you see the same people all the time there might be things that get on your nerves and problems can start from even the smallest of issues.

What is workplace conflict?

Workplace conflict can take many forms. It can manifest as disagreements among co-workers, competition and rivalry between departments, or a lack of understanding between management and staff. Conflict in the workplace can also arise from cultural differences and varying levels of experience or expertise. 

When left unresolved, workplace conflict can quickly damage productivity, morale, and team dynamics. Fortunately, with the right strategies in place, it is possible to prevent and manage these conflicts effectively. 

What are some conflict resolution techniques?

Conflict resolution is an important part of workplace dynamics, and having the right tools to help you manage workplace disputes can be invaluable. There are several techniques that can be used in workplace conflict resolution, such as constructive confrontation, problem solving, and mediation.

Constructive confrontation involves speaking with those involved in the dispute directly and openly about the issues at hand. This can help both parties work through their differences without escalating the situation. It also allows for honest communication between all parties involved so that everyone’s needs are met.

Problem solving is a great way to approach workplace conflicts because it helps break down large or complicated problems into smaller, more manageable components. This technique encourages all parties to focus on finding solutions instead of debating who is right or wrong.

Mediation is another great technique that can be used to resolve workplace conflicts. This involves having a neutral third party help facilitate communication between the people in dispute and guide them towards finding common ground. Mediation can also provide an opportunity for both parties to voice their concerns and come up with workable solutions that benefit everyone involved. 

Overall, workplace conflict resolution techniques are important tools to have in your arsenal when it comes to managing workplace disputes. By taking the time to understand each technique and using them appropriately, you’ll be able to more effectively handle workplace conflicts as they arise. 

How often do workplace conflicts arise?

Workplace conflict is a fact of life, but understanding how often it arises can help you prepare for and manage the conflicts that do arise. It’s believed that about one-third of employees have experienced workplace conflict at least once a month. That being said, there are several factors that can impact how frequently workplace conflict occurs in any given organisation. 

For instance, larger organisations tend to experience more frequent instances of workplace conflict than smaller ones due to the sheer number of people involved. Additionally, environments with high stress levels or poor communication may be more prone to frequent conflicts. Having a clearly defined chain of command and established procedures for resolving disputes can help reduce the frequency of workplace conflict significantly. 

Ultimately, understanding how often workplace conflict arises is an important part of effectively managing it. With the right strategies and tools in place, you can ensure that any conflicts that do arise are resolved quickly and amicably in a way that benefits everyone involved.  By taking these steps, your organisation can foster a more productive and positive work environment for all employees.

Whole Brain® Thinking and workplace conflict

Herrmann’s Core Idea: Whole Brain® Thinking. Everybody thinks differently, and that is often the root cause of conflict.

The ways individuals think, guide how they work. The ways groups of individuals think, guide how the teams they form work. The way groups of teams think and work can make or break the success of the organisation.

The success of an initiative depends on the ability of its management teams to drive communication, innovation, and productivity within and across functions. In 40 years of working with Fortune 100 clients, we’ve found that understanding the ways people think is the key to conflict resolution.

The Whole Brain® Model is our time tested framework to decode and harness cognitive diversity of individuals, teams, and organisations.

So understanding how your team thinks is one of the greatest ways to help prevent workplace conflict. By knowing how certain people will react to different scenarios helps you decide what the best avenue to take is.

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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