News Article

How to resolve conflict like a BOSS

If you think about it, conflict is a natural part of day-to-day life. It’s normal, healthy and… inevitable.

But so many people are really bad at managing it. The thought of addressing something or confronting someone really stresses people out.

AND, if you do pluck up the courage to address it, you probably handle it in the wrong way, everything gets heated, people get sad and the whole situation blows up in your face.

Using the proper techniques, you can address any sort of conflict calmly and get it resolved quickly, without any upset, so that everyone can crack on with what they do best.

There are three types of conflict at work:

This type of conflict happens between people. This may be between you, the employer, and one of your staff members, or between employees themselves. The cause could be a difference in personality, opinion, and values.

This type of conflict happens between groups or cohorts of individuals, based on their shared responsibilities. Take two departments at work, for instance, the sales team might be angry and feel as though the marketing team haven’t supported them correctly.

We’ve all heard of an employee stating, “I don’t get paid for this” or “This isn’t my job role”. This type of conflict happens when there’s a disagreement about job responsibilities or expectations.

Understanding the different types of conflict is essential if you want to manage them effectively.

How to manage conflict

Step 1: Understand what’s causing the conflict.
First, it’s important to understand what’s causing the conflict and you can do this by having a formal or informal conversation with the people involved to hear their side of the story.

Step 2: Provide a safe space to talk.
To help you understand the cause of the conflict, it’s important for you to create a safe space where colleagues can discuss issues without any recourse.

Step 3: Listen, impartially.
As someone managing the conflict, your first job is to be impartial and to listen.

The more you listen, and the more the people involved in the conflict feel heard, the greater your chances of resolving the conflict will be.

Step 4: Investigate
Once you’ve heard both versions of events, you may need to take some time to investigate and think about the best course of reconciliation.

Step 5: Create a common goal.
When you bring both parties together to resolve the conflict, it’s important to set a common goal that everyone agrees on first. This could be “Create a happy working environment for everyone”.

Step 6: Agree on what individual actions are required to achieve a common goal.
Together, you can then decide what needs to happen practically for both parties to be happy and for them to achieve the common goal.

Step 7: Keep an eye on how things are going.
Once you have an action plan in place, it’s important to keep an eye on how things are going with regular check-in meetings.

Okay, so that’s a fundamental outline of how to handle conflict. But what happens when you can’t resolve the conflict yourself? Mediation is your answer…

If you can’t handle the situation yourself or it’s too complicated, mediation is a great way to manage it.
If you need help with any of the issues raised in this guide, we’re here to help.