Conflict, as with taxes and death, is inevitable. This is particularly present in our diverse world where people may have different values, styles of communication as well as work styles and personalities. It is good to know that conflict doesn’t have to impact negatively on our lives. Actually, many conflicts in the workplace can be avoided or even minimized by taking 10-steps to avoid conflict.
1. Offer conflict resolution training.
You can lessen the negative effects of conflict by helping your employees learn the abilities they require to effectively resolve conflicts that arise in their daily lives. This increases confidence in their ability to solve any conflict in their personal or professional life. This also helps people become more adept at resolving minor conflicts that arise rather than allowing them to turn into significant distractions.
2. Provide communication skills training.
Through providing training in communication skills, employees will be able to improve their ability to effectively communicate with a variety of people and deal with the communication challenges that often lie at the root of any organizational conflict.
3. Help staff develop positive work relationships.
Let employees become acquainted with one another better and be more comfortable with one another. This can be accomplished through occasions for social interaction in a consistent manner and by assigning tasks that put employees in contact with people they do not normally encounter, as well as by offering cross-training opportunities.
4. Create team-building activities for team building.
It is possible to significantly enhance the team’s relationships and efficiency through the process of developing your team. These activities offer the chance for team members to become more comfortable with one another and to determine acceptable behavior and ways of interaction and decide how conflicts and problems within the team can be resolved.
5. Establish strong channels for communication.
Improve the communication between a group or company by strategically utilizing meetings for information and problem solving as well as by using various tools for communication within your organization. These tools can include face-to-face conversations such as texting, e-mails, videoconferences, online meetings and bulletin boards (both digital and physical), Voice mail, the fax.
6. Make sure that the workplace is conducive to participation.
This can be achieved by implementing official employee participation programs, such as self-directed work teams and suggestion systems that call for input from employees and reward them for their involvement. This is crucial because studies have repeatedly shown that employee involvement programs can have a positive impact on the performance of an organization and its employees.
7. Offer conflict mediation training to managers.
Whatever you do to try to reduce conflicts that are not working (a conflict that hampers performance and hinders your ability to achieve the goals of your organization), sooner or later, it will occur. Therefore, leaders of organizations should improve their mediation skills to help employees to resolve conflict that is bound to occur.
8. Provide third-party conflict resolution services from third-party mediators.
There will be instances where a supervisor or manager is unable to mediate conflicts between employees. When this happens, it can be helpful for employees to are confident that they have an experienced independent third party who can talk to them in a confidential manner about a situation.
9. Be sure that employees are aware of the goals of the organization and their priority areas.
In general, conflicts arise due to differences in the facts, goals, methods, or beliefs. In ensuring that workers (especially individuals in a specific team) are on the same page with respect to goals, priorities, and plans, you’ll lessen the chance that conflicts will be triggered because of differences in objectives, facts, or methods.
10. Treat everyone fairly.
It may sound evident. However, some managers are accused of a preference for one group over another, and it’s the responsibility of leaders in the organization to ensure they’re acting in a manner that is fair to all. The appearance of preferential behavior could cause conflict.