How to Efficiently Deal with Office Disputes

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During my time as an HR staff at a conglomerate, I came across some office disputes that were truly varied and even a bit crazy. Picture this: two ladies screaming at each other while I tried my best to mediate and listen to both sides. On top of that, there were complaints of stealing and accusations of betrayal against the boss. It became clear to me that I couldn’t simply trust anyone. Office disputes are rampant, and it falls upon the HR department and management to mediate and enforce company policies.

Now, many of us have been taught to avoid conflict at all costs, but sometimes, facing conflict can be surprisingly productive. So, we’re here to teach you how to handle conflicts in the office productively and efficiently.

1. Deal with conflict promptly, don’t put it off. Confronting conflict head-on can be tough, but delaying addressing it can harm employee productivity and engagement. Encourage a culture of accountability that encourages you and your employees to take responsibility for difficult conversations.

2. Determine the type of conflict at hand. Start by identifying the cause of the conflict and figure out if it’s related to tasks, relationships, or values. Knowing the specific type of conflict enables you to use appropriate tactics to resolve it. Skipping this step might lead to wasting time on irrelevant issues. By pinpointing the root cause, you gain a deeper understanding of how the conflict arose in the first place and can get both parties to agree on what the disagreement is really about.

3. Encourage respectful and mature communication from both parties. Before the discussion begins, ensure everyone commits to being respectful. Set ground rules that forbid aggressive language, yelling, and other immature behaviors. By doing so, you can calmly and effectively handle any workplace conflict.

4. Brainstorm possible solutions as a team, not individually. When managing conflict processes, having a common objective, which is resolving the issue and preventing it from resurfacing, is crucial. It can be tempting to tackle workplace conflicts alone, but involving your team is essential for achieving lasting resolutions. Encourage your employees to get involved, and they’ll feel a sense of ownership that can prevent future conflicts.

5. Create an action plan and follow through. Once you’ve brought workplace conflicts into the open, it’s time to truly resolve them. Like any other work goal, this requires a concrete plan and commitment to seeing it through. The specifics of the plan don’t matter as much as the dedication to resolving the conflict effectively.

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In conclusion, conflict is a natural part of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s disagreements with family, friends, or coworkers, managing and resolving conflict at work is crucial for meeting organizational goals. Embrace conflicts as opportunities for growth and learning, and remember that handling them with a human-centric approach can lead to stronger and more harmonious workplaces.

Sources: 1 & 2

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