How To Turn Conflict At Work Into An Opportunity For Collaboration

October 26, 2017

He said… she said.. He did this…she did that.

Conflict always happens at work, it can just occur to different degrees.

Conflict is inevitable because of a diverse workforce, constant change, stress from doing more with less, confusion over responsibilities and miscommunication,” according to one source.

Some employees are able to solve their conflict on the spot and move on, while others escalate the conflict to the point of involving other colleagues and stopping workflow from proceeding efficiently.

A leader needs to have the skills to turn conflict into an opportunity for collaboration.

After all,  any problem is simply an opportunity for positive change.

To turn a conflict into a chance for collaboration, try the following methods:

Counselling Your Employees

A conflict is not an event that should be swept under the rug, ignored and avoided.

While some managers believe that it is not their job to manage conflict between employees, that could not be further from the truth.

A conflict that gets out of hand can cause bad consequences for the entire team.

Therefore, conflict needs to be met head on with the help of the boss, if the need arises.

Managers must counsel their employees if they cannot resolve their issues alone in an empathetic and relatable way.

Come Up With Solutions

The counselling sessions between managers and employees are the perfect time to collaborate on finding an amicable solution.

It’s important for leaders to encourage each individual to explain their view of the conflict, directing the other employees to give them the time and space to state there piece.

Once everyone is open and honest about what had transpired, that presents an opportunity for everyone to work together on finding a reasonable solution to fix the problem.

Managers need to be clear that employees must reach an amicable resolution because conflict is never good in the workplace.

However, instead of simply telling the colleagues to make up, it is beneficial for the entire team to come up with creative ways to end the strife.

Teach Conflict-Resolution Methods

Conflict does not have to be a negative experience; just the opposite, it should be a time for employees to collaborate and learn conflict-resolution methods to avoid problems in the future.

Managers need to be clear that they understand that diversity, workloads and different personalities will lead to problems arising in the workplace, and that employees will not be penalised for conflict.

However, they also need to be honest about the fact that conflict needs to have a positive solution.

Teaching your employees anger management strategies, such as counting to 10 before responding, taking deep breathes and walking away from the situation.

Helping your staff members learn about diversity and improve their communication skills will also play a great deal in helping them work with each other in a more productive and friendly way.