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Resolving Workplace Conflict: 4 Ways to a Win-Win Solution
The effects of conflict in the workplace are widespread and costly. Its prevalence, as indicated by three serious studies, shows that 24-60% of management time and energy is spent dealing with anger. This leads to decreased productivity, increased stress among employees, hampered performance, high turnover rate, absenteeism and at its worst, violence and death.
Conflict in the workplace is the result of a variety of factors. Perhaps the most significant cause is when someone feels taken advantage of. This might happen when a perfectionist boss demands the same dedication and commitment from employees as he or she exhibits, but does not compensate them for the late or weekend hours.
Other scenarios include the employee having unrealistic expectations of what their job position really is, or of being misunderstood in the workplace. Conflict also arises because of values and goal differences in the company. The company may not have goals or not adequately express the goals and values to their employees. Conversely, the employee may have personal goals and values at odds with those of the company.
There are four specific steps managers can take to reduce workplace conflict. The first is for managers to look at communication skills, both in terms of how they communicate and how theyre teaching their employees to communicate with each other. This, of course, includes using I statements instead of you language. Owning your own feelings and your own communication is a much more effective way to communicate and even more, teaching your employees to communicate that way with others, goes a long way toward reducing conflict.
The second part of communication is for managers to beef up listening skills. Active listening involves things like actually trying to understand what the other person is saying, and then communicating to the other person that you do indeed understand what theyre saying.
The second way to decrease workplace conflict is to establish healthy boundaries. Without boundaries, there will be conflict and squabbles, power struggles and all kinds of circumstances that make for messy situations.
You can be professional and be empathetic and compassionate toward your employees, without crossing the line of becoming their friend. This is especially important when theres a power difference between two people in an employment situation.
The third factor to reducing conflict is a skill called emotional intelligence. There are many aspects and facets but it basically means developing skills to be more effective by teaching people to combine both intelligence and emotions in the workplace.
Seeing and dealing with employees as human beings with real lives is often overlooked in the busy workplace. People with high emotional intelligence can do this in a professional manner, and maintain appropriate boundaries. Another aspect of EQ is knowing and being sensitive to how employees are experiencing you as a manager. Part of EQ is teaching managers to be sensitive to how theyre coming across to others.
The fourth aspect of reducing workplace conflict is setting up behavioral consequences to be used with truly uncooperative employees who are unwilling to change. Despite using all these recommendations, there will be a few employees that just wont change because theyre unwilling or unable. That means a manager must explain a consequence, which is an action or sanction that states to the employee the likely outcome of continuing problematic behavior. It will take skills from the three previous points to do this in a non-threatening way.
Is there ever a place for anger in the workplace? Yes. When people can say, Wait a minute. Im not happy with this; I dont like whats going on, and they turn that anger into a positive action, then the anger can be seen as a kind of motivator. Sometimes when were in a position where we recognize that we are upset about something, and we use that to our advantage, we can make that work for us, and in the long run, actually work for the company.
As employees, the more we can learn to speak up, to be able to say what our needs and our wants are in a healthy way, and not let it fester to the point of rage or explosion, we can use our anger as a motivator to help us take action.
Employees can also change their attitude toward their job while putting up with the unpleasant aspects of it. One way to reduce conflict and to be happier is to find a way to shift our perspective and our vision of why were there.
Id like to close with a story thats going around about the janitor at Carnegie Hall who had been there for 20 years. Hes 45 years old. He was cleaning up the restroom, and a guy in a business suit went up to him and said, You seem to be an intelligent fellow. For 20 years youve been cleaning the toilets. Why dont you do something with your life and get another job?
And the janitor said, What? And leave show business?
Its all in how we view the situation and perceive what were doing that determines our satisfaction and fulfillment on the job.
About The Author
Dr. Tony Fiore is a So. California licensed psychologist, and anger management trainer. His company, The Anger Coach, provides anger and stress management programs, training and products to individuals, couples, and the workplace. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter "Taming The Anger Bee" at www.angercoach.com and receive two bonus reports.
Team Building - Google News
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Team Building requires one great dynamic for true Success - Mateship
A Successful Team is built around mateship, around respect for your team mates and for yourself. I am not saying that everyone will get on like best buddies, what I noticed is that in all our 'differences' everyone was accepted as they were, got on within the boundaries of the club and got the job done.
Feedback For Learning Can Turn Your Team Into Winners
Feedback:Most experts agree both types; constructive and positive feedback are beneficial and important to performance improvement. However, the way the feedback and timing of it are crucially factors.
Leadership Quality Through Kindness
In days past, loyalty was a given. The worker in past generations frequently remained with a company for his or her lifetime.
12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More
12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More Warning: The ideas that follow work. Don't be fooled by their simplicity.
The 3 Secrets of Team Motivation
Are workers telling the truth when they say they are ill?This question was posed on the Money Programme on BBCTelevision in December 2004. British Bosses are reportingthat more and more of their staff appear to be skiving offwith faked illnesses and many firms are taking new steps tocrack down on malingerers.
Team Member Feedback: A Priceless Communication Tool
Feedback is such an important communication tool. Openness, honesty, candor, trust -- all of these are hallmarks of high performance teams and organizations.
Characteristics of High Performance Teams
Abstract: Based on significant research, Entelechy has defined characteristics of effective teams.Entelechy reviewed over 50 studies on high performance teams and compiled a list of high performance team characteristics.
Solitude Vs Teamwork!
Irrespective of any given situation, "Team Work Works!" It is not that students are incapable of studying in solitude, it is just that when they study in collaboration the synergy drives the students, one step further. During the learning period people tend to be skeptical and filled with fraught of underachieving, so they stick with the habit of solitary learning.
Most managers simply herd some people in a room with a flip chart and call it a brainstorming session. Yet there is a definite process that maximizes the size and quality of the idea pool.
Team Building Part 2: Honesty is the Key!
The second in a series of 2 articles giving a slightly different viewpoint on effective team building, condensed from an original seminar presented by the author, John Roberts. John is a Freelance Training Consultant and director of JayrConsulting Ltd.
Company Picnic Ideas and Planning Tips
The company picnic is a beloved tradition at many firms.It's an opportunity for employees to mingle and "let down their hair.
Young minds are quite easy to shape. International Terrorist recruiters know this and have an abundant source of young men and women to pick from.
The Magic and Mystery of Teams
As the world of manufacturing has become increasingly competitive, managers have diligently searched out new and innovative ways to increase productivity, multiply the power of every employee, and better utilize every resource in order to positively impact the bottom line.For more than a decade one of the most popular "Hot Trend" innovations has been the idea of "Team".
How To Help A Sick Team Become Healthy
Team Building Question:A team is full of animosity, pretended interpersonal relationship, fear of bosses, mistrust and endless infighting what can I do as a team building facilitator?The Team Doc Says:Well, you've got your work cut out for you. Plan on this being a long term intervention.
Team Building Seminars: Why New Teams Struggle
With over 25 years of research and experience, we have observed countless groups struggle with activities in our Team Building Seminars. These groups all had the same common denominators, whether they were strangers or intact work teams, that became apparent during the first activity in which they were asked to work effectively together.
Secrets of Successful Teams
To be a success is not always to be a success individually. In fact, most of the time we achieve our successes as part of a team.
Proactive High Performance Teamwork
Proactive High Performance Teamwork is made up of nine proactive components and will provide the growth you are seeking in your practice. Two of the nine components are Performance and Opportunities.
The Stages Of Team Development
One of the greatest challenges a coaching manager has is in moving his or her team though the various team development stages. If a manager has no, or little experience of teams and team dynamics then taking over a team and then leading that team can be a very stressful experience.
Having Trouble Motivating Others? Try WIIFM
Recently my fourteen-year old son Matt dressed up as Santa Claus and attended a Christmas caroling event for one of my professional organizations. Was my son excited about the idea of spending one of his evenings singing to seniors instead of being with his friends? Not really.
Ever lost for ideas while working in a group? One of the most often-used technique for generating many ideas is Brainstorming. Alex Osborn, a partner in an advertising agency, developed brainstorming techniques years ago in 1941 to help his employees to come up with many, many ideas for their advertising business.
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