The way you react to and resolve conflict in the workplace is a defining characteristic of your personal Operating Style.
How you manage your role in a conflict is important to the way that you are seen to manage yourself and relationships with others.
Your role may be as an arbitrator in someone else's conflict, it may be with a colleague or between your organization and a customer or supplier. Regardless of the type of conflict or the parties involved, how you are seen to handle these situations can impact positively (or negatively) on how others judge your performance.
Here's 5 Fast Tips for resolving conflict at work:
1. Approach a conflict strategically - it is unlikely that all aspects of a conflict are equally important. Focus on what is most important to you. Review and decide which issues must be resolved.
2. Resolve important issues as early as possible. The saying about 'making a mountain out of a molehill' describes how little things can be exaggerated. A small misunderstanding left unresolved, can grow out of all proportion. 'Nip it in the bud' as my mother would say. (Which according to The Phase Finder means "put a stop to something while it's in early development" - a bit or random trivia for you ☺). It's usually much easier to resolve something earlier than later.
3. Know your facts - speak to the relevant people, ask questions. You won't have much credibility if you go in guns blazing on an issue with the incorrect information. Even the fact that you go to the effort to try and understand an issue thoroughly can reflect well on you.
4. Develop alternatives - as you would for any negotiation. If you can develop options that allow the other people involved to have a choice they'll have a much greater ownership of and respect for the agreed outcome.
5. Look for a win - for all the parties involved. Often whether someone is right or wrong about a business issue ceases to be the key matter to resolving a conflict.
And as discussed previously, have the tough conversation that need to be had.
Your ability to be willing and able to resolve conflict will reflect positively on you, make working relationships a lot easier and ensure you are seen positively in the rough-and-tumble world of business.
Would love to know any other tips you have. Let's chat...