Unfortunately, you can try your hardest to stay out of conflicts at work and remain a neutral party, but sometimes, no matter what you do, you could find yourself caught in the middle of work drama. This issue is particularly prevalent if you’re in some kind of management position and have to address disputes between employees or work with difficult people. Use these tips to find ways to successfully address conflict without losing your cool; with this advice, you’ll be able to resolve the conflict to the best of your ability and avoid exacerbating it.
Evaluate the situation
Whether the conflict is between you and someone else or between two other people and was reported to you, the first step you take should be to sit back and take time to reflect on and evaluate the situation. You’re going to have your view of the situation, but it’s important to think about whether you missed an important aspect of the issue or if there’s something valid in someone else’s interpretation of what’s happening. In order to successfully resolve, you need to carefully evaluate what’s happening and think about how to move forward.
Get all sides
You can wait to evaluate the situation until you get all sides of the story or you can take the time to think through it before talking to people if you feel the need to calm down about whatever is happening. You’ll eventually need to speak to the person or persons involved in the conflict and get everyone’s side of the story in order to effectively resolve it.
Whenever you talk to the people involved in the conflict or think through it on your own, you need to work on remaining as calm as possible. If you become too heated, it’ll exasperate the situation and make it much more difficult to reach a solution. Learn techniques to remain calm, even in the face of stressful conflict.
Find a neutral party
While you absolutely should not go around your workplace spreading news about the conflict, you should find a neutral party who can be involved in the resolution of said conflict. Human resources is often great for this issue, but if you’re in a management position, you might be the person someone else came to for the neutral party. You need to find someone who can listen to all sides of the conflict and help everyone communicate effectively.
Have a conversation
Finally, in order to actually resolve the conflict, you need to have a conversation about it. Gather everyone involved together and calmly talk out the issues. In some situations, it may be better to first talk to people individually and make sure it’s safe to have a group conversation. The key to effective conflict resolution in the workplace is to remain calm and communicate openly in order to reach a solution as a team.