The workplace has a lot of dynamics that we have to deal with on a day to day basis. As everyone on the team is trying to work towards achieving the goals of the company, there will always be those who clash along the way for one reason or another. It is at this point that you as a leader needs to come in and put things back to order when such scenarios come up. You may opt to ignore the conflict and let those clashing to sort it out themselves, but this is dangerous in the long run. If conflicts are not resolved in time, they may reach the extent of the people having issues getting into a physical fight.
As a leader, it is important to resolve any form of conflict as soon as you hear about it. There are many reasons why workers may conflict. Some of these include; unfair treatment by their seniors, stress, poor communication, lack of respect for one another, etc. Looking into these issues ahead of time could save you the burden of having to deal with the conflicts. But when the conflicts come up, you have no option but to resolve them and also find solutions on how to avoid them in the future. In this article, I will share with you how you can resolve conflicts that may arise among your team members.
- Examine the cause
The first thing you always need to do as a leader is to examine the cause of the conflict. The best way to know the cause of the conflict is to sit with each of the members involved individually and listen to their side of the story. It’s from the information they give you that you will know what went wrong between the members involved in the conflict. When deciding the way forward, you should ensure both parties are present and explain to them the basis of your final decision.
- Listen with empathy
When resolving a conflict between your team members, always make sure you listen to both parties with empathy. This means you have to put yourself in their shoes so that you clearly understand their argument regarding the cause of conflict. Listening with empathy will help you not to take a biased decision that could further intensify the conflict instead of solving it.
- Tackle conflicts proactively
As a leader, you should be knowing the common causes of conflicts and tackling them ahead of time before conflict becomes real. For instance, if the roles of each worker are not properly defined, conflicts may arise from misunderstandings of who is supposed to do what. That’s why every member on your team should be aware of their roles and responsibilities before they get started with work.
- Ensure everyone understands the company code of conduct
As a company, you need to have a code of conduct. This code of conduct should include how workers are supposed to behave while at work and also how they should relate with other team members. In case of a clash, the basis of your decision as a leader should be from the code of conduct. This will avoid scenarios of a leader having to take biased decisions
- Choose the right team leaders
One of the major causes of conflict is members being treated unfairly by their seniors. In situations where one of the team members is always favored by the team leader, it will always be hard for that member to be in good terms with the rest of the team. To avoid such scenarios, make sure the team leaders you choose can manage their teams with fairness and no favoritism.
- Have training sessions for team leaders
Your team leaders should frequently be trained on how best to manage their team members to avoid any chances of conflict. When you have trained leaders on the ground, it will be easier for them to foresee what could cause a conflict and resolve it before the conflict materializes.
- Be careful while hiring
Even though conflicts always happen at workplaces, it is always important to make sure the people you bring on the team are not the type who will create conflicts. That’s why you should be critical during the hiring process to make sure you look out for any form of characters that don’t match the culture of your company. It also recommended that new workers work for about 6 months on probation before being fully confirmed as part of the team. This will help you to monitor then and learn more about their personalities beyond the interview session
As we have seen from the above strategies, avoiding conflict at the workplace starts straight from the recruitment process. Recruiting workers that don’t sync well with the culture of your company will always lead to disagreements among your team especially regarding how work should be done. Always make sure you bring in the right people. Also, ensure that you and your different team leaders manage all the team members fairly without any form of favoritism.