Workplace Conflict

Workplace conflict
When people work together in groups, there are bound to be occasions when individuals disagree and conflicts arise in the workplace. Whether these disagreements become full-blown feuds or instead fuel creative problem solving is, in large part, up to the person in charge.
You can do a lot to ensure that your employees deal with disagreements in proactive, productive ways by knowing when and how to intervene — and when to let things be.
Here are some practical step-by-step tips for dealing with employee spats in the workplace:
• Identify the problem. Make sure everyone involved knows exactly what the issue is, and why they are arguing. Talk it out until everyone agrees that there is a problem, and understands what the key issues are.
• Allow every person involved to clarify his or her perspectives and opinions about the problem. Make sure everyone has an opportunity to express an opinion. If necessary, establish a time limit (say, five minutes per person), and make sure each person sticks to the limit while stating his or her case. It is your responsibility to make sure all participants feel safe and supported.
• Identify the ideal end result, from each party’s point of view. It might surprise everyone to discover that their visions are not so far apart after all.
• Figure out what can realistically be done to achieve each individual’s goals. If action is taken, how will this affect other projects and objectives? Will the end result be worth the time and energy spent? If the attempt fails, what’s the worst that can happen?
• Find an area of compromise. Is there some part of the issue on which everyone agrees? If not, try to identify long-term goals that mean something to everyone, and start from there.
A little forethought can go a long way toward preventing conflicts among coworkers. To minimize the incidence of spats, here are some preventive measures you can take:
• Bring issues out in the open before they become problems....