How to settle conflict in the workspace

Working everyday with other minds in the workspace can often lead to a clashing of ideas and opinions – it’s inevitable. Workplace conflict can occur in a variety of ways, such as between two employees, or between supervisor and an employee. Despite the inevitable conflict, solving team conflict and reaching a peaceful resolution is possible.

Some advice for resolving conflict before it escalates into an even bigger issue include:

Stay calm

This trait may be hard to exercise, especially when you are trying hard to get your point across to someone who hasn’t been listening to you. But getting agitated won’t solve the problem – if anything, it may make the tension worse and harder to come to a mutual understanding. Therefore, it’s really important to remember to stay cool, calm and collected during a dispute.

Discuss the issue without agitation

Take the person who you are disputing with to a quiet and private area without anyone or anything to interrupt your conversation. Without the presence of others, put everything on the table. Clearly state your side of the argument such as why you are feeling unhappy, how the other person made you feel this way and what they could do to fix the problem. But it is crucial to note that during this part of the process to make sure that when you talk, you are talking without any agitation or tones of criticism, as both parties would be quite sensitive. It is time to focus on the problem rather than the other person’s character. Make sure to speak with self-control and poise so the other person would naturally let their guard down too.

Listen to the other party sincerely

While you may have a list of issues that you wish to bring up when discussing the issue, ensure that you take the time to sincerely and without judgement, listen to the other person’s argument and try to understand their point of view. Just like you, they have their own say in the disagreement and shouldn’t be interrupted while they’re talking. Therefore, it is only fair that not one party dominates the discussion but instead, give ample time to each other to say everything that they want to say.

Find agreement

After debating about the disagreements, resolution of the conflict can only be done if grounds of commonality are found. State instances of when you understood the other person or shared their point of view. Looking for agreement amidst the dispute illustrates your willingness and disposition to find common ground and from that build a relationship around those trust components.