The Pink Elephant: Strategies for Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Conflict in the workplace is normal, and it can often be cathartic if it is managed well. However, managing it effectively can be challenging if you don’t set standards for conflict management and resolution. Simply ignoring conflict can only lead to escalation, so you must be able to identify and practice ways to resolve conflict in your workplace. For success in conflict resolution, maintaining a calm and positive outlook is only the first step to success. Listed below are more suggestions to consider.

Active Listening

In tense situations, your first move should be to de-escalate the conflict by advising all parties involved to treat each other with respect, listen to each other actively, and remain calm. When advising the parties involved to describe their perspectives, it’s a good idea to ask them to stay focused on their own experiences by sharing how they feel and avoiding placing blame on the other parties involved. By evaluating what was actually said on both sides, you can identify solutions for a successful resolution by figuring out what will work for each party individually and collectively.

Cultural Differences

Conflict that arises between different cultures can be difficult to resolve due to language barriers, religious views, gender perspectives, and the caste system. For example: It might be difficult for male employees to accept a female superior in a male-dominated culture. This type of resentment could lead to a revolt or other consequences that could disrupt the company’s activities. In cases like this, it helps to attempt to resolve the conflict internally in a timely manner because escalation can affect productivity. If internal resources are insufficient, it is helpful to identify and reach out to professional mediators as soon as you can. In these cases, you must ultimately decide what will be best for your organization.

Needs-Based Solutions

After you’ve de-escalated the conflict by listening to all sides of argument, you’ll have a clear concept of the problem. By asking each party to suggest a solution, you might find that some of the suggestions will overlap – this might lead to a compromise. If not, try leading a comprehensive brainstorming discussion about solutions that might work for everybody. If you show that you’re invested in mediating and resolving the conflict with a calm, clear head, it could influence the parties involved to feel similarly.

Another important part of conflict resolution is following up to see how the solution you decide on is working out. Organizing post-conflict status meetings is a great way to check progress on the implementation of the agreed upon solution. If the solution doesn’t resolve the conflict, it is important to reach out to outside resources to assist you in managing the conflict. These resources might include the aforementioned professional mediation services or if necessary, legal counsel.

Takeaways

Managing conflict in the workplace can be challenging if you don’t acknowledge that it exists and manage it appropriately. Arriving at a resolution is achievable in most cases, and doing so will affect how all the parties involved communicate with each other and work together. Conflict resolution might seem intimidating, but it is essential to the success of any organization. When conflict arises, be prepared for it. Stay tuned to Lionbridge onDemand’s blog for more business insights.

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