Conflicts in the office are so inevitable that, in fact, we could consider them as normal. Therefore, both management and employees who are affected must remain respectful to turn these negative events into a constructive and positive experience.
Facing problems in the workplace is not a simple matter. But it’s important to take the time to listen, determine the final objectives, and define the necessary steps to resolve the disagreement in a calmed and friendly way.
It is important to know what causes conflicts
We must not run away from conflicts since they are a source of growth and transformation. To make effective decisions, it is necessary to identify where the sources of conflict in the office may come from:
Goals. When the objectives are not shared, differences arise in the working groups.
Personality. Personality clashes are the most common. They prevent the chemistry needed to reach the goals from being generated.
Styles. Many times our way of thinking and communication differs from other people.
Values. It is not easy to deal with them. Hence the importance of putting the values of the company on top in order to work harmoniously.
Different styles to resolve conflicts in the office
Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann developed tools for research in the workplace. They propose five styles conflict in the office.
Complacent: when you cooperate to a high degree and work against your desired goals, objectives and results. Therefore, it can have a high cost. This style is effective when one of the parties is the expert and has a better solution.
Evasive: it is an option when the problem is trivial or, otherwise, when it represents a high cost to solve. It is a way out when the environment is full of emotions. Avoiding is not a good long-term strategy, however, in some cases, the problems resolve themselves.
Collaborator: is the key to the win-win paradigm. By associating with the “other party,” both achieve their objectives. This style is effective to find solutions in complex scenarios, where innovative solutions are required. It demands a high degree of trust between the parties, as well as time to get everyone to participate and achieve consensus.
Competitive: This is the win-lose scenario. Workers act assertively to achieve the goal without cooperating with the other party. It is the style used when there is an emergency and quick and decisive responses are needed. It is important that those who apply it know this approach.
Committed: it is summarized in lose-lose. That is, neither party achieves what they really want. It may be appropriate for situations that require a temporary solution or when those involved have highly important objectives. It is best to collaborate.
We have to be attentive
Many managers feel anxious about the mere idea of facing a conflict in the office. That is why it is crucial to know the different styles to solve them and apply them in the required situations.
When differences in the work environment are handled effectively, employees can be allowed to express their solutions and promote the commitment to integrate teams. What matters is to turn an experience that is essentially negative into something constructive.
Promote the opening
Leaders should get feedback from their team regularly. For this, they must develop an atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable sharing ideas. That is a good way to obtain information that allows for anticipating potential problems.
Resist the judgements
When disagreements arise at the office, affected employees must share their experience impartially. Management must be cautious when taking sides. This is key to mitigate feelings of isolation by the parties involved.
Negative energy spreads rapidly and even affects other employees who are not involved in a given conflict. To cope with that, bosses must respond quickly to keep workers' morale high.
There are many ways to solve the differences. You can discover your style to manage conflicts with Jobgether.