Seven Simple Steps to Stop Workplace Conflict!
Most workplace conflicts arise from misunderstandings and disagreements due to differences in personality and communication styles. Some conflicts arise from lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities or from preferential treatment of one employee over the rest. Conflict can even arise because one employee overreacts to another employee’s comments or behaviour, as well as between a business owner and customers, suppliers and alliance and business partners. Regardless of how the conflict arises, addressing it quickly is critical to your business success.
- When was the last time you or your team had a disagreement, misunderstanding or conflict?
- How much are these workplace conflicts costing you in wasted time, energy, effort, lost productivity and lost revenue?
- Are you tired of spending so much time and energy addressing conflicts rather than achieving your business vision?
- Would you like to learn how to put a stop to workplace conflict so that you can refocus your energy on growing your business?
Think about the impact workplace conflict can have on your morale and that of your team, your and their attitude when dealing with customers, and the impact on your revenue and business results. Unresolved conflict between two or more people in your team, can result in the rest of your team taking sides, which has the potential of dividing your team and reducing team effectiveness. The most dangerous part of that dynamic is that a lot of the disharmony will occur “under the radar”. Over time, this can subtly sabotage the team’s performance and your business results. This subtle dynamic can also occur with business partners, suppliers, customers and alliance partners. This is why it is critical to work through issues, however small, as soon as they arise.
Here are 7 simple steps to assist you to put a stop to workplace conflict:
1. Resolve any past emotions (eg. anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt, etc.), self doubts and limiting beliefs. For as long as these are unresolved they will affect your communication and relationships with others, and your performance. If you have any unresolved emotions or beliefs, other people will be able to “push your buttons”, and you will find yourself easily overreacting to them. Unresolved emotions also drain us of energy and reduce our productivity, leaving us with less energy to do what we want.
2. Understand what makes other people tick ie. what motivates them, their preferred ways of communicating, their values and drivers. Then learn to communicate your message effectively, taking their preferences into account. This way your message will be heard loud and clear every time, and you will minimize disagreements and misunderstandings.
3. Be clear about your vision, goals, your expectations, roles and responsibilities and the vision, goals, expectations, roles and responsibilities of those around you. Agree and communicate these with everyone in your team, including your employees, customers, business partners and alliance partners. This will avoid much stress, disagreement, confusion and underperformance.
4. Have clear agreements around roles, responsibilities and communication so that everyone in the team understands what is expected of them, and the type of behaviour that is appropriate.
5. If anyone in the team disrespects these agreements, ensure that they are aware that their behaviour is inappropriate and put a stop to that behaviour immediately. If the behaviour is not stopped it will recur and will become harder to address, as any lack of intervention will send the message that the behaviour is “acceptable”.
6. Work through issues, however small, as soon as they arise. If you ignore them and hope that they will go away, chances are they will come back even bigger or in some other form.
7. If you find yourself having personal challenges and these are affecting your performance seek help rather than allowing your emotions, self doubts and fears to affect others. For example, if you get angry with others, you will likely get a negative response from them, which will only snowball your anger. This may further impact on your performance and your personal and business relationships.
Just imagine how much more focused and productive you and your team will be once you have put a stop to workplace conflict. And how big a boost this will have to your business results and success!
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