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Steps for proper conflict resolution

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Conflict is viewed many different ways. Conflict is definitely a part of human interaction and can have a positive or negative influence. The biggest question is how do you resolve conflict? Managing conflict requires a safe and supportive climate where people can express ideas and opinions without scrutiny. Let's go over some steps for conflict resolution:

Create a Supportive Environment

People must feel free to discuss their concerns and ideas without being belittled by coworkers. The ultimate goal is to come up with a mutually acceptable compromise. Having your team working together to create a constructive solution is essential. Of course you will have conflict between staff, but try a few tips.


  • Inspire your staff. Having positive influences around the office helps to encourage employees. When staff has a mutual respect and behavior toward one another, conflict tends to disappear.

  • Discussions. Having an open discussion with staff about conflict resolution is a great place to start. Everyone can be exposed to conflict resolution topics such as; conflict de-escalation techniques, conflict styles, and how to resolve conflicts.
  •  Role models. Your staff looks to you as a role model and how to behave. Be a good team player so your staff adopts those behaviors. Personal observation from your staff about your conflict management skills will help them know what is acceptable.
  •  Reward and Punishment. Make it clear to your staff that improper conflict will be punished. Have a policy in place that staff can observe and notice what behaviors will give them rewards and what behaviors are not allowed.
  •  Screening process. Before you hire someone, you need to put them through a screening process. Having some mock situations where they have to deal with conflicts is a must. It allows you to know if you are hiring problem solvers and how that person handles direct conflict.
  •  The Explosion. What happens if there is a conflict that escalates and is not resolved? Is your company prepared to handle this? Look for ways to prevent conflicts from happening. How can you learn from experiences with conflicts?

Conflicts can be a positive influence if handled properly. The problems usually arise from face to face daily conflicts. Here are a few popular tips for conflict resolution:



  • Help the team focus on the task and stay on track.

  •  Be mindful of other people's styles.

  •  Make suggestions on how to proceed.

  •  Help negotiate.

  •  Ask questions to clarify expectations, issues, and possible directions to take.

  •  Help find needed resources.

  •  Provide constructive feedback.

  •  Share observations.

  •  Coach staff.

  •  Help team members plan how to implement their agreement.

  •  Help team members evaluate their efforts and make needed changes.


Additional ways of preventing or managing conflict include:


  • Setting ground rules for discussion.

  •  Teaching reflective listening skills to team members.

  •  Teaching mediation skills.

The best tool a company can teach is to make sure every employee is aware and sensitive to the difference between interests and positions. Everyone has common interests in a company i.e., the overall success of the company. At the same point, everyone has a different strategy of finding the success of the company. The positions are the actions people take to meet their needs for a desired outcome. Making sure your employees listen to all sides before acting on instinct is a great tool. In the end, we all want to come out with a win-win situation. Making sure your staff meets together in a comfortable environment where everyone can voice their opinion is wonderful. Conflict resolution is not necessarily hard to achieve as long as one takes the appropriate measures in the first place.

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Posted by DF
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