Conflict management at work
Even if we belong to the same team, we come from different backgrounds, with different experiences, personalities and temperaments. Although we work towards common goals, sometimes we want to achieve them through different paths. In many situations, we should find solutions that are acceptable to all. How can we work together effectively and well despite our differences?
What can I do if I am in conflict with a colleague or manager?
- The first thing to do is to look at workplace conflict as an opportunity for development and learning - it's easier to start resolving it straight away. It's important to try to talk it through with the people involved first, in a calm atmosphere, when you have enough time and are not disturbed.
- Try to make an appointment with the people concerned, and not just ask for a few minutes. Under time pressure, we can become more tense and not everyone will have the opportunity to express their point of view. Reassure the other party that you want a common solution that is acceptable to everyone.
- It's worth asking the other person open questions, and it helps if you summarise what you've heard from time to time to show them that you've listened. Summaries also help us to hear not only what differs from our own point of view, but the other person's whole story.
- Instead of judging the other participants, let's talk about how what is happening affects us. This will avoid the other participants experiencing the conversation as an attack, and we will find that if we dare to talk about our feelings and thoughts, the other party will open up more easily.
What can we do if we can't manage?
Workplace communities often speak a professional language, but a common language is also important for cooperation. Even if we disagree in a debate, it is important that we are able to accommodate each other's points of view and communicate our interests and needs clearly. When we are involved in a conflict, it is not easy to do this. Our experienced conflict management specialists can help you to ensure that conflicts between colleagues or departments are discussed effectively and resolved together. Read more about our methods, workplace mediation, restorative practices and facilitated meetings!