As a leader or manager you have responsibility for managing
conflict in the workplace. You must intervene before
disagreements and differences of opinion escalate into all out war
and leads to courts and employment tribunals.
you value your organization, it is critical that you use your mediation
skills to intervene at the earliest possible stage in a
conflict situation. Ignore the problem and it will not go way.
It will get worse.
Meet with the parties together and let them outline there point of view
without interruption from the other party. Have a short discussion to
clarify each parties position.
Allowing people to speak their minds can increase the level of conflict
with which you must deal. You have to get through the conflict phase to
find the solution. If a person feels that they are being listened to, it
can dramatically change their point of view. Also new information may
come to light that allows a solution to emerge naturally.
Identify the real cause of the conflict. What is really keeping this
person from bringing the conflict to a resolution? If you can identify
the obstructions, you can predict how the person will respond to certain
ideas and you can shape negotiations accordingly.
Observe the protagonists. You will learn more by paying attention to
body language, listening and the emotional tone behind their words. Give
people the opportunity to talk about themselves. This creates openings
to ask questions and gain more information about their perspective.
Once you see things from each side’s point of view you can stay one step
ahead of them by anticipating how they might react and manage the
Carefully pace your negotiations and avoid the winners curse. It is
possible to reach a solution too quickly. We all have an inner clock
that lets us know how long a negotiation should take. When a deal seems
too easy, a kind of buyer’s remorse can set in that leaves people with
second thoughts about the outcome.
One or both parties may be left with the feeling that if things had
moved more slowly, they might have cut a better deal. The bottom line is
don’t rush or the negotiation will fail.
Even when you know you can wrap things up quickly, it’s to everyone’s
advantage to keep the negotiation proceeding normally, for a reasonable
amount of time, before the inevitable settlement.
Click here to view The Managing Conflict at Work Guide. This guide
draws on research to identify the behaviours that will help
managers identify and proactively manage disputes