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Conflict Resolution Made Easy

February 28, 2013

Daily ReadConflict Resolution Made Easy

Just because conflict in the workplace is inevitable doesn’t mean we need to live with upsetting comments, nasty gossip, hurt feelings, shouty ALL CAPS emails and silent treatments. Learning how to effectively mediate office disputes can actually reinforce rather than erode morale within your company. Follow these 3 tips to constructively mediate conflict between colleagues.

  • People aren’t against you, they’re just for themselves. When engaged in a conflict, emotions run high and people generally defend their best interests, which often feel like an attack and creates an antagonistic line of communication.
  • Listen for values, not interests. Our values motivate our interests. Uncovering those values is key to resolving complicated conflicts. The value behind wishing for more vacation could be “I value variety and change” or “I value appreciation for my hard work.” Understanding their values can help you find alternative resolutions.
  • Make it safe. If one party feels threatened by the authority, aggression or some other advantage of the other, it’s a major barrier to authentic communication. Establishing ground rules (such as confidentiality and respectful language) that all parties agree to before beginning to work through a conflict helps to level the playing field and create a safe space.

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