When there are people with different perceptions, cultures and upbringings working together, conflicts are inevitable. How can one manage the situation and create a motivated team environment? Read the following:

1. Clarify what the source of conflict is

The first step in resolving conflict is to properly define the root. Defining the cause of the conflict will enable you to understand how the issue came to grow in the first place.

Some of the most common causes of workplace conflict are:

  • Unclear responsibilities – Some team members may feel they do more work than others, or resent those who seem to have fewer responsibilities. Blame and frustration can build due to duplicated work or unfinished tasks.
  • Competition for resources.

If you’re directly involved in the conflict, speaking with other people first will do no good than fuel the misunderstanding. Rather, Speak with the other person and iron things out. And to do so, you need to discuss the needs which are not being met on both sides of the issues. Also, you need to warranty mutual understanding. Continue asking questions until you are confident that all the conflicting parties understand the issue

If you’re afraid of making that approach or worry that it might worsen the problem, speak with your manager first or a higher person in authority, depending on who you’re involved with in the conflict.

2. Find a safe and private place to talk

To have a productive conversation, you need to find an environment that is safe for you both to talk. Such a place also enables both parties to honestly open up regarding the issues at hand. 

So, before trying to resolve any issue, find a safe and private place to talk. Do not choose the office of either party or a location near them. And while at this place, ensure that each party gets enough time to air out their views regarding the matter.

3. Control Your Emotions

You’re most likely to say and do things you’ll regret when you’re angry. Therefore, choose your timing when you talk to someone about the conflict. Be careful to avoid shifting blames. Have a focus, which is to resolve the issue on ground.

4. Listen actively and let everyone have their say

After both parties meet in a secure and private place, let each one have the opportunity to air out their views and perceptions regarding the issue at hand. Each party should have equal time to express thoughts and concerns. Invite the other party to describe their position, ask how they think they might resolve the issue, and listen with empathy.

Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is an essential part of negotiation. This helps you to build mutual respect and understanding – and to achieve an outcome that satisfies both parties.

Taking this approach will encourage both parties to articulate their thoughts in an open and honest manner as well as establish the cause(s) of the conflict and identify solutions.


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