Coping with Conflict at your Workplace?

Coping with conflict is unavoidable when people interact at work. When faced with conflict or an angry person, adopt a positive and rational approach (instead of a natural reactive approach) to defuse any heightened emotions, then look for a resolution based pragmatism and compromise. Remember that you are concerned with behavior, not with character and that your goal is to win over a person not an argument.

Questions to ask yourself

Q. Where is the problem and what is it exactly?

Q. What are the causes of the problem?

Q. What are the potential (possible) solutions?

Q Which solution out of all the alternatives is the best?

Q. How is the solution best implemented?

Facing Problems (Challenges)

Coping or dealing with conflicts between employees (colleagues) is an inevitable part of managerial life. Once you are aware of conflict, take immediate action and invite the disagreeing partners to voice their point of view in a meeting. The key is to minimize the emotive element and to substitute it with a rational pragmatism. Even if you believe one position to be correct, be prepared to consider the other point of view, if it is valid, and then try to reach a compromise.

Thus you are providing an environment where disagreeing employees can openly voice their problems and then work toward affecting a resolution.

Defusing Negative Emotions

Guilt, anxiety and anger are common negative emotions that must be managed carefully. Try to impress upon your colleagues that guilt will not repair whatever action has caused the upset, that anxiety will not prevent a future event that causes fear, and that anger is not an appropriate or helpful response to any situation. A person usually reacts angrily because others have not acted as he or she wants. You can defuse this anger by presenting a more reasonable point of view.

Tip 1: Carefully analyze problems as they arise.

Tip 2: Ask a close colleague to help defuse your anger.

Dealing with Anger

Discussing the negative effects of anger with a disgruntled employee may help to resolve a situation of conflict. Beset by emotions that will probably have been growing in intensity over a period of time, and the person will benefit from your rational observations of their inappropriate and misdirected behavior and your suggestions for dealing with these feelings.

Signs of Anger

  1. Projecting bad feelings onto others, and resorting to sarcasm and ridicule.
  2. Avoiding the need for rational, unemotional responses.
  3. Concealing the loss of an argument, and making excuses for failure.
  4. Making excuses for intimidating and manipulating others.

Antidotes to Offer

  1. Analyze the reasons behind angry feelings.
  2. Remember that it is possible to disapprove without being angry.
  3. Turn to a trusted, uninvolved friend before venting your anger (if any).
  4. Ask whether expectations of others are reasonable.
  5. Expect to be disagreed with and displeased sometimes.
  6. Apologize to the objects of anger.
  7. Assist all involved for regaining composure by addressing some of the reasons and emotions behind each person’s anger.

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