It’s important to understand that there will be conflicts that arise, and that is a normal part of having people spend so much time working together. Conflicts will happen, and when they do, it’s important to resolve them right away so that the issue doesn’t fester and become an even bigger problem. Along with addressing it right away, here are 7 tips for handling conflict resolution in the office:
- Open communication. Maintain an office environment that promotes open and honest communication that is delivered in a respectful manner. Everyone should feel comfortable being able to address management and share their concerns or ask for assistance with conflict resolution.
- Practice good listening. Often times, people just want someone who will listen to them. Focus on listening more than trying to speak. Ask all parties involved to respectfully share their side of the story, as well as what they think will help to resolve the conflict.
- Establish boundaries. Good leadership in the office will take the time to establish acceptable boundaries and let people know what is and isn’t going to be tolerated. This goes for workplace gossip, jealousy, and other such common issues. Consider holding a conflict resolution workshop for employees, so they learn how to professionally avoid the pitfalls of it and address it when it happens.
- Maintain an open mind. There are always two sides to every story, and sometimes the employees may have the best solutions to offer. Keeping an open mind will help you navigate the resolution field and help get people back to being focused on company goals.
- Know the limits. No matter how hard you may try to keep peace in the office, there may still be problems with an employee. That’s when you have to determine if it’s worth keeping the person or making a change for the betterment of the office atmosphere and productivity.
- Hire right. To help avoid conflicts in the first place, hire right from the start. Choose people based more on their personality than their resume. You can’t teach someone to have a good attitude, but you can teach them how to use your software. Also, make sure people are properly trained and know what their specific job duties are. This will help avoid confusion that may lead to conflicts.
- Be a leader. Taking on the task of being a good leader in the office means addressing things like conflicts like a pro. Keep it businesslike, respectful, and handle it in a matter-of-fact kind of way, but don’t be afraid to call in assistance, such as a professional mediator, if you feel it’s needed.
“I’ve worked with many office teams to address conflict resolution,” added Attorney Jamie Wright. “It’s a big part of any office and something that should be addressed. The company will always benefit from having a group of employees who work together well as a team.”
Wright is partner in the Los Angeles-based Millennial Government Affairs group. She is also considered a millennial expert, specializing in such areas as crisis communication, conflict resolution, and government affairs. Not only does she also help political hopefuls by helping them to keep their strategies and campaigns legally compliant, but she’s also won a most influential under 40 award. In addition to a law degree, Wright holds a master’s degree in history and enjoys weighing in on millennial issues. She frequently speaks on millennial-related topics as an expert in the field.
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