Taking the Right Approach to Conflict Resolution
Running from conflict in the workplace is about as wise as running from a mountain lion while on a hike in the forest. Nobody wants to deal with conflict (or mountain lions for that matter), but the workplace is filled with people with different opinions, and from time to time, personalities clash, decisions aren’t always agreed upon and the result can be a tense situation. Having the right conflict resolution tools at your disposal will be necessary if you’re going to lead a productive workplace.
Calm and Cool
Solutions can’t be met with out cool heads prevailing, and this can be established through measured conversation. Invite all parties involved to have a one-on-one talk with you and make sure they know it will be a confidential discussion. Maintain a neutral stance and don’t point fingers.
If you take a side, the party you’re talking to will become defensive and that will lead to a less-than-cool conversation. Impartiality is a must, and you have to truly listen to what they’re saying and ask the right questions.
After you’ve met with all the parties involved, taken detailed notes and thought through a resolution, bring everyone together in a joint meeting and talk through how you came to your decision. There is going to be a losing side, so make sure they know their input is appreciated and that you want them to help facilitate any new policy changes. This can empower the “loser” in the situation and bring about true conflict resolution.
One way to avoid conflict is to build teams with people who won’t clash from the outset. For example, some people prefer to take direction on even the smallest of tasks, while others tend to want to go solo. Some want to take leadership positions while others are fine adding what they can in more understated roles.
If you know there are three people in your workplace with Type A personalities and relish in leading the discussion, it’s probably not a great idea to put them together. Rather, build teams with a mix of people with different skillsets but compatible personalities.
It’s Not Always Obvious
Knowing what makes someone tick takes more than a job interview and perhaps a few months on the job. There are underlying behaviors that aren’t worn on the sleeve, which is why adopting the Predictive Index method can save you a lot of time on conflict resolution.
With a cognitive and behavioral assessment used in the Predictive Index method, you gain more insights into how an employee will behave in various situations. At PI Consulting Group, we’re the Predictive Index experts that can assist you in many ways. Contact us and let’s talk about our methods.