How To Deal With Conflict
In every workplace there will always be some element of frustration, disagreement or conflict – this is part of normal human behaviour and is an inevitable part of working life.
What is important in management is to recognise when this occurs and take steps to resolve conflict situations well before they impact upon individual/team/organisational performance.
The following are ways in which managers can deal with conflict situations:
- establish and publicise formal procedures – for grievances, disciplinary issues and resolution
- explain organisational and team plans and changes – linking individual performance targets to overall plans, to make everyone feel involved
- listen – consultation is the key to involving employees in decision-making
- reward fairly – to help make people feel secure and appreciated
Effective communication and positive working relationships are essential when managing and preventing conflict, and managers need to, for example:
- value employees – people feel more motivated and involved if they feel valued
- treat everyone fairly – managers need to be fair, transparent and consistent
- encourage initiative – managers can work to develop and encourage individuals to be innovative and take initiative
- help people to balance personal and work needs – flexible working patterns can help to improve the work-life balance of employees and the effectiveness of the business
- encourage the development of new skills – managers, team leaders and team members could benefit from learning and development activities to improve their skills, knowledge and experience, and to improve communication
Smooth-running and successful organisations know how to recognise and deal with conflict but also how to prevent it in the first place!
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