In the world of business, conflicts are an inevitable event. It could be that you come into conflict with a supplier or business rival. Sometimes, conflict occurs within a company between managers or the employees in their teams. While conflict can be productive when it spurs people on to address problems and move forward, it can also be toxic if it is left unresolved. Below is a guide to managing and resolving conflict in the workplace. Read on to find out everything you need to know about conflict resolution.
Meet in a private and neutral place
The first step to resolving conflict is to arrange a meeting. Ideally, the meeting should take place in a private and neutral place. It is never a good idea to air conflict publicly as this could damage the reputation of your business or your staff. A neutral location will allow both parties to meet on equal terms. If a meeting takes place in one party's office, they may feel that they have more power or influence over the other party because negotiations are taking place in a place where they are in charge. A neutral location will help to level the playing field and will encourage open communication.
Work on identifying the exact problem
When conflict occurs, it can sometimes be difficult to work out exactly what the problem is. As events escalate and people express their feelings, it is easy for the original issue to become lost in more general tit-for-tat exchanges and bad feelings. When you sit down with the other party, your primary goal should be to identify the original issue which led to the conflict.
Work on a joint solution
Once you have established the nature of the conflict, you and the other party need to establish a joint solution to it. It is important that the solution involves both parties, as this will encourage both sides to engage with the process in an honest way and with good will and honest intent. The best way to do this is to have both parties discuss their desired outcome to the conflict so a common goal can be identified. Once a joint solution to the conflict has been agreed upon, you can then start to work on a plan of action which will allow both parties to achieve this goal.
If you need help resolving a conflict in your workplace, you should contact a conflict resolution consultant today.