Employer Branding

How to Overcome Conflict at Work

A big part of running an interesting and successful business is employing a group of people who each have their own personalities, ideals and beliefs. Having a varied team of individuals is what makes a business interesting – different types of people bring different ideas to the table, and it also makes everyday life more interesting for everyone.

Being in a varied environment like this is great for creativity, but sometimes it unfortunately leads to a clash of beliefs or ideals, which results in a workplace conflict. What are some of the top ways to combat a workplace conflict?

Practice listening:

Becoming involved in a conflict can often stir up strong emotions for both parties. Sometimes it’s easy to get so carried away when making a point, that you forget to even listen to the other person’s response. It’s best to try and see a conflict from all perspectives and take a step back from the conflict in order to understand where the other person is coming from. Remember when it comes to conflicts that listening is always key. A much broader range of benefits can also come out of improving your listening skills. It’s a fantastic learning tool, and is great for fully interpreting a piece of information quickly and without confusion.

Be mindful:

It’s important during conflicts to remain mindful of your body language and your tone of voice. Conflicts can very easily turn into heated debates, and it’s particularly easy to blame a particular person or group. This is why it’s important to stay away from blameful language and accusing body language such as pointing or standing.

Come to a full resolution:

There’s nothing worse than leaving things at a lose end, especially when it comes to conflicts in the workplace. It’s always important to end a discussion knowing where you stand with all your colleagues and what you are going to do to move forward from the conflict at hand. Another point that goes hand in hand with full resolutions, is that you should never ignore a conflict and hope for it to go away. This is a disaster waiting to happen, as although it may seem like a conflict cools down, it will always rear its head in times of stress or disagreement.

Remember it effects everyone:

You may think that a conflict only involves 2 or 3 people. But more often than not, workplace conflicts effect everyone in the office on some level. The most serious repercussion of a workplace conflict doesn’t directly effect the protagonists of the conflict – but the people that they work with everyday. It’s awful feeling like you’re treading on eggshells around certain people, and it can really effect the stress levels in the office as a whole. Conflicts often create hostile working environments – which is never enjoyable for anyone.

One thing to remember about workplace conflicts is that they are inevitable to some degree. If you have a workplace filled with innovative forward thinking individuals, then it’s likely that at some point, they may clash. As long as the individuals take steps forward to resolve the conflicts, then all is not lost!

By Ruby Lowe

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.