On average, a person spends almost 10.27 years at their workplace during his entire lifetime. When you invest so much of your life in an environment with several others, there is bound to be some friction from time to time. This can also sometimes escalate to getting into workplace conflicts.
To explain to you what can be the extent to which any workplace conflict can escalate, let me share a fact and a GIF. According to a report by Manage Conflict, more than 50% of the employees in the workforce report are being sued by other employees. This can leave a big hole in your pocket, making you more stressed by the minute…
In the workplace, there are various types of people coming from different types of backgrounds. So it is the responsibility of both the employee and the organization to ensure that there’s a healthy environment to sustain and all the conflicts are met with proper resolution.
1. Check in with yourself
Ego is one of those basic emotions like love or empathy which makes us human. However, an uncontrollable and pompous ego can be a major reason for conflict in the workplace. According to a recent study by CPP, 49% of workplace conflicts happen due to warring egos.
Hence, to avoid any unwanted conflict and resolve any unavoidable clashes, an employee has to constantly be aware that she/he is co-existing at a workplace with different personalities and warring with each other for no one.
2. Tone check
Your tone is more precise in conveying a message than any punctuation in any language. However, it is one of the most perspective-driven mediums as well.
So, every employee of the company should keep their tone in check while talking to any of the subordinates, manager etc. This not only reduces the chances of conflicts but also puts you in the good books of your co-workers. Also, it never hurts to be kind.
3. Keep your ears open
A verbal conflict is nothing but a heated debate. So, to reduce the heat, hear the flame. Any personnel can easily resolve her/his conflict by just hearing what the other party has to say and how it is contradicting with their own notion.
Having this knowledge can help you find a middle ground on which everyone can be satisfied, without losing their heads over it
4. Avoid blame game and tackle the problem
This is one of those tips which are taught to us throughout our childhood. The blame game is for the weak. One should be open-minded to realize that the problem is not with the party you are quarrelling with but with the system and communication. It becomes a very easy matter when this is decided as both parties can now concentrate on the problem and resolve it according to the managers/subordinates.
On an organizational level
On average, employees spend 2.8 hours of their week managing and resolving conflicts emerging in the workplace. This, along with money utilized in legal handling, points to make any organization realize that conflicts are very harmful to them. Hence, every organization must make sure that conflict is kept at a minimum, ideally being none.
However, the employees may not always fall in line with the organization policies and may lack that control to resist conflicts. Organizations need to take regular conflict resolution seminars and workshops to create a win-win-win scenario for both the quarrelling employees and the organization.
It is also the duty of the company to ensure that there is a healthy conversation, both interdepartmental and intradepartmental. This ensures that everyone works in accord with the organizational goals and have camaraderie with one another.
In conclusion, I would like to say that once any quarrel is given time, it is just a difference of opinion – we need to correct the difference and not the people having the difference. Also, organizations can play a huge role in keeping all the team together and aimed towards a goal.
From an optimistic perspective, conflict is the unavoidable collateral damage of problem-solving and utilizing these tips might surprise you with how quickly conflicts are resolved when everyone involved keeps a cool head and works together to solve the problem.