Conflict is an inevitable part of work. We all witnessed situations where people with different goals and needs have clashed, and we’ve all witnessed the often intense personal animosity that can result. Conflict management is one of the most important training for managers and human resource practitioners. It’s a necessary skill to learn how to expertly handle conflict. It can prevent problems and cause more dilemma to many people and of course save the company from turmoil. Conflict resolution is something that any HR support should know and be an expert in. Here are the important stages of conflict resolution that you need to know.
Identify the source of conflict
As a manager or supervisor, you need to give both parties the chance to share their side of the story and avoid being biased. It will give you a better understanding of the situation, as well as demonstrate your impartiality. As you listen to each disputant, say, “I see” or “uh huh” to acknowledge the information and encourage them to continue to open up to you.No assumptions should be made. Listening and clear communication are essential to identify the true nature of the problem.
Look beyond what is happening
There might be small situations from months before that happened and is now causing major stress to both parties. It’s better to see where this comes from so that this can be avoided from ever happening again. In the safety of your office, you can get them to look beyond the current incident to see the real cause. Once again, probing questions will help, like, “What do you think happened here?” or “When do you think the problem between you first arose?”
Look for solutions
After hearing both sides you must ask each party on how they can amend the situation. “How can things be better?” is a good question to ask. Remember to do not trigger their anger and keep everything neutral. You would want them to stop fighting and start cooperating again with each other.
Identify solutions that can be beneficial to both parties
You are listening for the most acceptable course of action. Point out the merits of various ideas, not only from each other’s perspective, but in terms of the benefits to the organization.
Your conversation primarily will focus on the disagreements, but resolution is possible only when you find points of agreement. You should emerge from the experience with some positives instead of all negatives. Shed light on commonalities. Share examples or instances in which you agree with the other person or can see another point of view. For example, if you disagree on new sales tactics, you might share what you liked about the other person’s idea or the motivation to work harder for the team.
Encourage the team to manage conflict on their own
Encourage people to manage their own conflicts. Tell employees to work out conflict at the level it happens, instead of pushing it up the organizational chain. Doing so will give people confidence that they are capable of handling these issues on their own.
Provide accurate HR training
Provide training. HR Support can help people learn the skills they need to handle conflict by sending them to courses or recommending helpful books. Conflicts tend to become emotionally fraught when someone chooses not to focus on the issue at hand but rather to question another person’s competency, autonomy or integrity. Bjerknes advises people to choose the right time to have a difficult conversation and to prepare in advance the three most important things they want to say about the conflict.