conflict in the workplace

5 Tips On Dealing With Conflict In The Workplace

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July 11, 2018
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Conflict is an integral part of life and living and the workplace is a common battlefield. Conflicts arise from diverse reasons such as interpersonal differences in values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, interests or desires, negative perception of other people and situations, different personality types, communication lapses, pride, self-centeredness or dishonesty.

If not well-handled, conflicts can cause great harm to relationships and health, lead to loss of trust and confidence and diminished productivity. When positively addressed, conflicts can provide an opportunity to build trust, strengthen relationships and personal growth.

We all experience conflicts and have ways through which we deal with them. I would like to share five tips to dealing positively with conflicts when they arise in the workplace.

  • Respectfully face the issue head-on. Don’t avoid facing the conflict, but seek for wisdom and courage to deal with it. Each conflict has its peculiarities, so seek the wisdom that is peaceable, gentle, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
  • Seek first to understand before being understood. This is the 5th habit of highly effective people as espoused by the late Stephen Covey in his landmark book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. Understand that people have different personalities and temperaments, and the approach to positively dealing with conflict depends largely on who is involved. Focus on issues not persons. Avoid prejudice and being judgmental: ‘Judge not, that you be not judged’.
  • Be open and collaborative. Choose a good time and place to trash out the issues with the persons concerned. Let resolution be the aim. Seek a win/win outcome. Listen actively and patiently. ‘If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men’.
  • Mind your language. Recognise and respond to things that matter to the other person in a calm, non-defensive, and respectful manner. ‘A soft/gentle answer turns away wrath’. Express your views objectively: ‘Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt’.
  • Humility. Accept where you are wrong and make amends. Humility is a defence. Remove the log in your own eye.

Author – Lampe Omoyele

7 Comments

  1. sue - August 19, 2019

    Spot on.

    How can we deal with a difficult colleague who obviously is acting out of sentiments?

    Reply
    • Lampe - August 19, 2019

      Hi Sue. My suggestion is to seek first to understand what’s driving the sentiments, empathize and gently offer your own perspective in a non-judgemental manner.

      Reply
  2. Ese Osagie - August 19, 2019

    To think I opened this thing first thing today and didn’t read it immediately. Today was a horrible day for me, a colleague that is much younger in age but has been given some authority was rude two days in a row. He claims that is how his voice is, but I wasn’t having it and blew my top off. I will read this again and again and again. Thank you, sir.

    Reply
    • Lampe - August 19, 2019

      Hi Ese. Sorry your day was awry. Please take it as a learning experience.

      Reply
  3. Taiwo Ajidahun - August 21, 2019

    Thanks for Sharing this master piece, I can see that courage, wisdom & acceptance plays a significant role in conflict resolution.

    Sir is it possible to get notifications on new posts from your site? Best Regards

    Reply
  4. Francis Obadan - March 2, 2020

    My mentor sir,
    There is great wisdom in your advicesd 5 approaches to conflict resolution in the work place.
    Would be great if people would have the will power to deploy these tips instinctively. Unfortunately people loose their reasoning guards easily.

    Reply
  5. Angela - March 3, 2020

    How do I handle?
    I was asked to bring change to my company which obviously didn’t go down well with some of my colleagues so, I became the villain. Meanwhile the company still would go to get evaluation from my head of unit whom the change indirectly affected. Ain’t I just a scape goat?

    Reply

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