1. Set The Boundaries Before They Set Themselves
This is not only for those who have recently entered a leadership role, you could also have been in a managerial position for years; it’s never too late to set the boundaries. Think of how you would like conflict to be addressed in your workplace and arrange a meeting to express these values, of which should enable employees to interact with their concerns in a far more constructive manner. This creates a system where conflict can take place, but under the guidelines which prevent it from getting out of control.
2. Prevent Conflict Wherever You Can
Sometimes there will be an obvious concoction of peeves just waiting to explode. Whether it’s the classic feathery in the staff kitchen, or work related quarrels churning into a bitter rivalry. Hitting these head on is sometimes the best way to prevent conflict altogether. Imagine two of your employees working on a project but both are taking completely different angles and both believe their angle is the most effective – you already have a cauldron of bubbling conflict. You could sit both individuals down, express your own concerns and allow them to express theirs in a just and respectful fashion, and ultimately find a solution. If however, you leave it to brew, there is only one outcome.
3. Utilise Their Objectives
One of the most effective ways to avoid conflict and actually maximise performance is to discover the motive of the individual who is raising eyebrows. Undoubtedly, he or she is doing their best and it this which you should be addressing, not the specific actions. Guide them to a better path to reach their objective, one which is suited to everyone whilst at all times reminding the individual how impressed you are with their motivation levels and persistence. This does 2 things. Eye brows are lowered because a better rout has been taken and the individual remains motivated and is still excited to reach his or her objectives.
4. Choose Battles Wisely
Sometimes it is wiser to let things crumble slightly, if you spend your days running around trying to relinquish every level of conflict, you’ll end up grey in no time at all. Sometimes if a situation, circumstance or problem becomes too large, people naturally confront it in a far more constructive fashion. This is because they can’t afford for it to get any worse. Thus, they get together and communicate professionally to find a resolution. This is the most perfect opportunity to stay proactive and then actually praise the individuals on how well they dealt with the situation, tell them this is how you hoped they would reacted and then even team them up. They have seen each other’s worse and had the best brought out in them because of it.
5. Conflict is an Opportunity
If you manage conflict in the workplace effectively, you will succeed in turning it into productive communication. This is a priceless attribute in the workplace, whereby individuals begin to talk openly and professionally with the understanding that it is the easiest path to a solution. A work team that can achieve this will in turn achieve far more from their work than you could ever imagine.
Conflict should not have to be a festering of ill thought and personal judgments; it can be avoided and even transferred into effective communication. Keeping the workplace environment tranquil is one of the greatest forms of Mental Health Training
and should be the goal of every leader.