Conflict, or what they commonly call "conflict resolution" is inevitable and unavoidable in the workplace. No matter how cool you are in avoiding conflicts, you will run up against ideas that contradict one another. Rather than thinking that it will never happen, it's essential you learn practical ways on how to deal with conflict at work.
Workplace conflict occurs in a different form such as power struggle, pride, opposing positions, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, ego, communication gap, unhealthy competition in the workplace and personal emotional problems.
Pretending to be happy, while your sweating blood inside of you could be dangerous to you, your health including your performance at work. Instead of bottling up grievances there are various ways that you can use to deal with conflict at work.
When conflict arises in the workplace, don't try to pretend or avoid resolving it. The first path to conflict resolution is to embrace the battle, do not pretend nothing happened. This will only increase the grudge and resentment in the work environment. You must learn how to deal with the issue immediately before the problem gets out of hand.
The conflict between you and your co-worker should be sorted out while the battle between two different departments or team in the workplace should be addressed. It can be used as an opportunity to improve inter-department communication. Remember, do not gossip about the conflict, badmouthing a colleague or a group of persons at work will make you look unprofessional.
Address the Conflict Immediately
Once, you have acknowledged that conflict exists between you and a colleague, the next step is to address it; you can do this by one or one conversation or by involving a third party (the HRM) to help in resolving the conflict. Avoid forcing or confrontation when there is an immediate outburst of anger with a co-worker. It is best to handle it when you both have calmed down and can have a reasonable conversation.
Keep an Open Mind, Talk Together & Listen
During conflict resolution, do not assume a particular knowledge or act is being done deliberately by a co-worker. An assumption is the least level of expertise.
According to Susan Lankton – Rivas, (a human resource consultant) interview on Boston.com, dealing with conflict isn't about changing one person's mind entirely. However, it is going into the room with an open mind. These will enable you to find common ground with your company worker, identify the reason behind the conflict.
Another key is listening, pay attention and do not interrupt the other person. Make sure you understand the message from the sender and ask clarifying questions on what you do not understand. This will enable the other person to repeat his or her frustrations in a way that makes sense to you. When these are followed, you must learn how to tackle the problem, not the person.
It's natural for the conversation to focus on disagreements; nevertheless, a resolution is possible only when you find points of agreement. You must be willing to shed light on commonalities. This could be an idea shared by a co-worker, that you considered feasible and smart. Looking for a point of Agreement will demonstrate your willingness to seek out common ground and settle the conflict.
Be introspective and willing to learn how your actions may have contributed to the conflict even if it was not intentional. Work with your human resource manager, they are available and well trained to deal with conflict in the workplace.
Learn To Forgive
Finally, you must learn how to forgive. A merry heart is a good medicine, but envy rots the bone. Resentments and Anger eats away your energy, it drains you mentally and hurts your health. Always remember that humans are not perfect, learn how to forgive and if possible forget, this doesn't mean you should tolerate abuse and misconduct in the workplace.