Management is a leadership role that requires the ability to address conflict in the workplace. Conflict within the workplace is unavoidable and should not be ignored. Rather, addressing conflict among team members should be done in a healthy and productive way. The ability to recognize conflict, work to understand the root of the problem, and bring about a quick resolution can help define yourself as a strong leader. The following tips can help you build solid conflict resolution skills.
Understand The Root Of The Problem
The first step in properly handling conflict among team members is to understand what causes it in the first place. The two most common causes for conflict are communication and emotions. Oftentimes conflicts arise when there is lack of information, misinformation, or no information at all. This can be avoided by making sure team members are given clear, concise, and accurate information. Emotions are also the root of many conflicts. When team members let their emotions get the best of them, they are likely to act in ways they might later regret.
Make Sure Job Descriptions Are Clearly Defined
A great way to avoid conflict is to make sure your team members know exactly what is expected of them. Create a framework of acceptable behavior so employees will know exactly what will and will not be tolerated. Make sure specific job requirements are clearly defined from the start.
Pick Your Battles
Rather than addressing every little issue in the office, decide if the issue is important enough to resolve. Otherwise, it might seem as if you are just walking around looking for conflict. Oftentimes, minor issues will resolve themselves without any interference from management.
Approach Conflict As A Learning Opportunity
Underneath almost every issue is the potential for a great teaching/learning experience. Strong leaders look for ways to turn conflict into an opportunity for positive growth. Work collaboratively with team members to come up with a resolution that will be beneficial.
While it may not always be easy, addressing conflict head on is a must for any manager. The goal is to seek resolution in a positive and productive fashion. A manager who is able to handle conflict in a prompt and professional manner will bring tremendous strength to their team.