14 Feb A Three-Step Process for Resolving Workplace Conflicts
In the majority of cases, workplace managers fail to understand the origin and the reason for conflict between individuals. Failure is more often than not to do with a lack of experience, not at managing conflict but rather at successfully managing conflict all the way through to a mutually acceptable outcome. This lack of experience promotes urges to ignore the issues at hand in the hope that they will resolve themselves. Instead of solving the issues they tend to shy away from the actual situation as whole.
In such cases managers may come in need of a conflict resolution consultant. However, there is no hard and fast solution to a conflict however, you will need to pay some extra attention to the problem if you are going to successfully put the issues to bed.
Three essential variables need to be processed with a step by step approach to bring an end to a heated situation. Let’s learn about that three-step process.
The three pillars
The first step of the three-step process is about knowing how to listen actively. when managing conflict you must seek to understand and recognize the issues and needs which may or may not be being expressed clearly by an individual who is experiencing a range of different emotions. As the mediator you need to facilitate the conversation towards mutually agreeable solutions suggested by both parties and that work for both parties.
How to listen actively
As said earlier, the first and essential piece of the puzzle is to master the art of active listening. The majority of the office owners will say that they are already capable of actively listening to the other person while communicating. But during a conflict, most people are either least interested to hear the other person or are too frustrated to handle the situation.
However, if you genuinely want to come to a solution, you need to pay full attention to the speaker and show him that you are listening minutely. An expert conflict resolution consultant will also proceed in the same manner.
Understand and recognize the issues and needs
The next important step is to acknowledge and understand the exact problem that the person is facing- either professionally or personally. It is a universal nature of humans to think that they are unhappy due to one single reason. But, when dug deeper, they finally realize that the real problem is related to something different.
It is essential to understand what the issue is and where it started. Once you successfully point out the real cause, the reason for the conflict can be identified, and different ways can be sought to deal with it correctly.
Look for mutually agreeable solutions
A professional workplace conflict resolution consultant instinctively understands that a robust agreement on which both parties understand their responsibilities as well as each other expectations is the surest way to a permanent solution. It is possible for an untrained mediator to attempt resolution of a difficult conflict however the final solution is often where attempts to resolve can unravel if expectations are not clearly identified and agreed by the parties in mediation.
In cases where a manager attempts to mediate with two individuals who report into them, it can be difficult for that manager not to steer the parties towards solutions that are optimal for them as a manager rather than the two employees as individuals. This often will only solve the problem temporarily, which stops short of the true purpose of workplace mediation and genuine conflict resolution.
Once you have successfully handled one conflict, you will soon build up the confidence in pursuing avenues for questions without fear of where the narrative will lead. You will become aware on a deeper level the nature of your role in helping the parties to achieve a satisfactory result. Workplace conflict resolution, no matter how tough it sounds, can be solved effectively through this three-step process. All you need to do is master the art of active listening, finding the root cause and help parties come to a common solution.