3 keys to resolving workplace conflict

by rodney on August 10, 2013

workplace conflictIt’s no secret that work can sometimes be a little bit stressful. We work long hours, have tight deadlines and have less job security than we used to, however, the number 1 cause of workplace stress is our colleagues.

With so many people of varied backgrounds, beliefs, personalities and values, workplaces can become a melting pot of conflict, drama and stress which causes so much misery within our jobs.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Studies show that how well you get on with your colleagues has an effect how much job satisfaction you have, but how can you get along with people when, quite frankly, we sometimes end up working with people who can be lazy, difficult to get on with or simply idiots?

You can’t control other people, but you can control your reaction to them. By taking a different approach to handling conflict at work, you can find resolutions more quickly and effectively which will lead to better satisfaction at work.

Here are 3 keys to resolving workplace conflict:

Stay emotionally neutral

Easier said than done, but being able to stay emotionally neutral during conflict will help you resolve conflict effectively. When emotions take over, you’re unable to think rationally. This means your ability to problem solve decreases and the likelihood you’ll behave inappropriately increases. You can try using breathing techniques to help keep your emotions in check. If you have trouble controlling your emotions, disengage and remove yourself from the situation until you calm down.

Focus only on what you can control

When there is a conflict, there are a lot of elements that are out of our control. Often it is the things out of our control that cause the most stress and conflict, but, because these things are out of our control, we have very little impact on them and little impact on resolving the conflict. You are more likely to achieve results by focusing on what you can control. You can control what you do, when you do it and how you respond. You cannot control circumstances, other people and what happens to you.

Create a win/win mindset

When we are in conflict with others, we often become focused on “winning”. This creates a “win/lose” mentality where in order for us to win, someone else must lose. This is what conflict is. By adopting a different mentality, we can neutralise conflict altogether. By focusing on a mindset where both sides win, conflict is resolved. To create a win/win mindset, first be clear on what you want to achieve, next, be open to what others want to achieve. Then you can work towards a resolution where everyone’s needs are met.

Conflict, especially in the workplace, causes stress. You can minimise this stress by adopting a different approach to conflict resolution. If you are having trouble with conflict, you may need to consider seeking professional counselling

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