In the workplace, effective dispute resolution techniques and procedures are crucial. While a poorly handled conflict can be costly to your company, one that is handled well can benefit it financially, improve relationships between coworkers, employee performance, retention rates, communication abilities, and workplace culture.
You may transform a potential crisis into a fruitful conversation by putting the appropriate communication techniques in place.
How to resolve workplace conflict through communication
Alex Alexakis, founder of PixelChefs states “The most important tool to avoid workplace conflict is simply to communicate. I’ve been able to avoid so many conflicts myself in my work life simply by being clear about when and where I will do something and who I’ll need with me and why. This allows people to set their expectations accordingly and doesn’t take them aback.”
Let’s take a look at the 5 steps of conflict resolution through communication.
Address problems right away
When a disagreement emerges among your team members, you should act right away to settle it. Accept disagreement and start working on a solution right away rather than avoiding it or ignoring it.
Resentments might simmer if the issue is not resolved right away, Fast resolution keeps a sense of harmony in the workplace, and leaders should promote open communication during these discussions. Ask a variety of questions, including open-ended, closed-ended, factual, and opinion-based inquiries, to obtain accurate information.
Clarify your expectations
One of the most crucial things a team can do to improve communication is to manage expectations, both in terms of what you expect from others and what they expect of you. Anything that you or your coworkers need from one another should be expressly stated and defined.
Having a clear understanding of expectations can make workers feel more at ease, which reduces the tension that can lead to conflicts.
Hone your active listening abilities.
Although you could be hearing what your coworkers are saying, are you really paying attention to them? When others are speaking, especially in a group setting, people frequently let their thoughts wander and fail to fully pay attention to what is being said. It’s simple to read a message and soon forget about it, even in digital conversations.
Additionally, conflict can be beneficial if it is handled properly and with good listening skills. Great innovations can result from opposing viewpoints and perspectives. Maintain an attitude of tolerance for others whose opinions differ from your own. You can now view things in a different way as a result of this.
Use neutral terms and open body language
It is normal to desire to cut yourself off during a fight, but doing so simply makes it more unlikely that the issue will be resolved. Give yourself (or those involved in the conflict) some time to collect your thoughts. Manage the conflict by speaking in a collected, amiable tone.
Separate the other person from the issue and speak in an objective manner. To prevent the other person from feeling attacked, it is preferable to communicate in “I” language rather than “you” language. For instance, it will be more beneficial to say “I feel undervalued in my job” than than “You don’t appreciate my work.” Using the pronoun “you” will simply make the other person defensive, which is not good for resolving disputes.
Don’t undervalue the influence of tone and body language in addition to carefully selecting your words. Conflict often escalates because of how something is said rather than what is being said. To convey your eagerness to settle the dispute and come to an agreement, keep your body language open. This can encourage everyone else in the conflict to act calmly and openly because people tend to imitate those around them.
Respect and acknowledge individual differences
Colleagues might get into a lot of disagreements and miscommunications because of divergent attitudes, actions, and working methods. Work on being more conscious of the variations in how you interpret a situation if conflicting personalities are the main source of many of your team’s issues.
To settle conflicts when they occur, it is crucial to keep in mind that various people can interpret the same event in different ways, regardless of how a meeting was conducted, how a strategy was used, or how stakeholders were involved.
Using our unique experiences, values, individual variety, and cultures, each of us perceives and experiences the world in a unique way. Based on our individual experiences, we individually attach meaning to what we have heard or seen and form judgments. It is simpler to start having dialogues that settle workplace issues once differences are acknowledged.