2 Strategies to Handle Conflicts at Work

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Employees and leaders alike can find themselves in the middle of a workplace drama because conflict is inevitable when different personalities are at play. The key to successfully conducting oneself when faced with conflict depends largely on self-awareness, professional courage, and knowing how to effectively handle stressful situations.

People do not always realize how their negativity influences those around them. When we confront others (or they confront us) there is a temptation to deny an accusation or explain it away rather than face our shortcomings. The result is usually counter productive. Here are two helpful strategies to deal with conflict at work.

 (1) Keep a Fresh Perspective

Take time to cool down if the discussion becomes heated. You don’t want to say anything you may regret in an intense moment. It is important to remember that once something is spoken, particularly by a supervisor, it cannot be taken back. When extreme discontentment sets in and tension is high, people lose sight of the fact that the way they handle themselves in stressful situations influences their professional reputation and credibility.

As you cool down, you can reap the benefits of boosting your endorphins, which will help you relax as well as lighten your mood. Ideas for a cooling off periods include:

Do what works for you to calm down and gain a fresh perspective so you can offer the best solution to the problem at hand.

(2) Be the Voice of Reason

When a problem has escalated, any seasoned leader will tell you that it is imperative to remain calm and measured. As employees raise their voices in anger and frustration, it is important, especially for managers, to keep a steady voice at a normal volume. Often, if an aggressor sees that others remain calm, they will more easily control their own temper.

Without clear communication, it can be hard to know what personal stressor someone is facing that may influence their behavior. However, psychologists, Art Bell and Brett Hart identify eight causes of conflict as:

  1. conflicting resources,
  2. conflicting styles,
  3. conflicting perceptions,
  4. conflicting goals,
  5. conflicting pressures,
  6. conflicting roles,
  7. different personal values, and
  8. unpredictable policies.

Knowing and understanding these common causes of conflict will allow you to develop an appropriate response to the issue and a deliberate course of action.

As a reminder, try to remain patient and understanding as you navigate your way through the conflict while offering suggestions for an objective resolution plan.  

For help in developing these strategies and learning more about how to deal with conflict, contact Darlene to set up an planning meeting, today!

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DARLENE DAS

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Darlene is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, best-selling author of “The Quadruple Aim Solution,” and a trainer.