Here are some tips to follow when conflict arises in your team or company.
1. Don’t pretend the conflict doesn’t exist
When a disagreement arises, don’t avoid it and don’t pretend that nothing happened. Over time, the tension will escalate and the conflict will only get worse. Deal with these subtle issues as soon as possible, before issues and bad reactions become really embedded and take up too much space within your team.
It is never difficult to face disagreement when you are in charge. How to behave? There are 3 main scenarios:
- If you are not directly involved, eg if you notice a conflict between employees, encourage them to find a way to resolve it and be available during the meeting, eg to smooth things out between the two parties.
- If a conflict arises between two teams, see it as an opportunity: it is an opportunity to improve interdepartmental communication. Get involved directly to be proactive and look for solutions, for example by suggesting a team building activity.
- If you have a conflict with one of your employees, address it privately with the following tips.
2. Invitation to discuss in a quiet place
Set a time and place where you can talk for a long time without being interrupted by third parties.
Whether you are an actor in the dispute or a mediator, keep in mind that everyone should have time to say what they think. If you are resolving a conflict between team members, don’t let one person monopolize the conversation or control the topic. Everyone should be able to talk freely about their differences and how they feel about the situation.
Remember that now is not the time to attack or assign responsibility for the conflict to a specific person. Focus on the problem, not what you think the other person’s personality is: stick to the facts.
3. Show that you want to find an agreement
The goal is to get out of the discussion after the conflict has been resolved. So, while the conversation will likely be mostly about disagreements, resolution is only possible if you find points of agreement.
Feel free to point out your commonalities and share examples where you agree with the other person. Searching for agreement demonstrates your desire to find common ground and turn the problem into a solution.
4. Ask yourself
Let’s face it: If you were involved in a struggle, there likely was something you could have done better. Although it’s not fun, accepting your mistakes and taking responsibility for them in front of others is the first step toward resolving a conflict. This is also what it means to be a leader.
This creates an atmosphere for others to assess their own behavior as well and seek improvement. You will see that conflicts become very rare when everyone feels free to communicate as soon as something goes wrong or doubt arises.
5. Keep track of fast food to prevent further problems
What’s the point of all these conversations if you don’t learn from them to improve business processes, culture, or understanding within your team?
By documenting the causes of conflict and the steps taken to eradicate it, employees and managers have preventive techniques that reduce the risk of the same type of problem arising.
Finding lessons you can learn from conflict and how you deal with it will also help you develop and maintain your conflict management skills.
6. Seek help from an outside practitioner
In conclusion, disputes are part of the life of the company. Its management is the responsibility of the leaders. For this, there are several conflict resolution measures that you can adopt to ensure that it does not escalate and become a major problem.
But learning how to manage a business crisis is not easy. What if conflicts take up a lot of energy or are too frequent? Advice and help from an experienced practitioner can be invaluable in helping you better understand where problems come from and work on bad habits.
Gestion Succès helps entrepreneurs and companies in Quebec
At Gestion Succès, we have been supporting entrepreneurs and team leaders since 1995. Thanks to our training workshops, we are actively involved in improving communication and providing concrete solutions when conflicts arise and affect the efficiency and well-being of employees.
If you need a coach, feel free to contact us now: our experience will allow us to understand the situation in which you find yourself and offer you the right solutions.