Managing Work Conflict
All humans are not the same. We won’t get along with everybody because not everyone is likeable. Some people are easy to get along with, while others exhibit behaviors that are a big turnoff. This is the primary cause of conflict in the work environment.
Workplace conflict happens when two or more people either do not get along or they have opposing ideas regarding a work issue. In short, it is any disagreement that may arise among or between customers, management/owners and/or employees.
Causes of Work Conflict
Workplace conflict can happen for a myriad of reasons and create a stressful environment that is bad for business. While issues in the workplace are a common occurrence, once escalated, it then becomes a bigger issue for the business.
It is impossible to avoid conflict in the workplace, especially since it has many people from different backgrounds. Also, each person may have certain expectations from the work environment and if they are not met, it will create conflict. However, there are some signs that show a conflict is about to happen.
While there are many reasons for conflict in the workplace, here are just three major causes:
An unhealthy work environment fosters conflict, especially among employees. Harassment in the workplace can happen anywhere and at any time. Harassment in the workplace can be intimidation, physical assault, telling offensive jokes, name-calling, insults, posting offensive images, and sexual harassment.
2. Poor Communication/Job Roles Not Clearly Defined
Failure to communicate or not communicating effectively is one principal cause of conflict in the workplace. There are many instances where issues arise because of misunderstanding or the lack of communication between management and employees.
3. Resistance to Change/Poor Work Habits
Some people find it hard to embrace change because they fear the unknown and are not ready to let go of their habits. Workplace conflicts arise when people become confused, angry and/or resist change.
We all have that one thing we do to help us through the workday. These may be harmless and even help us be more productive. However, here are a couple of habits that can cause conflict in the workplace.
a. Gossiping instead of working
b. Habitual lateness and not completing tasks
How to Resolve Work Conflict
In order to resolve or manage conflict in the work environment, we must focus on the issue rather than on the individual personalities involved. Majority of the time, conflict occurs because it was ignored in the initial stage and allowed to worsen.
Shalom Lamm has extensive knowledge of the real estate industry and had multiple businesses. He is the father of five children and dedicates himself to Operation Benjamin. Operation is a mission to identify Jewish soldiers buried at American military cemeteries with Latin crosses and replacing those with the Star of David.
Lamm believes that time management is effective at eliminating distractions and requires prioritizing which job gets completed first. This means that there is no cause for conflict in the workplace, as each person focuses on completing their tasks.
Here are three more ways to resolve issues in the workplace:
1. Be an active listener and hear all parties involved. Give each person the opportunity to give their opinions and explain their issue. Addressing
conflicts and allowing each person to express themselves will allow for a better understanding of the issue. It also helps to identify ways on how to fix these issues and/or meet a common goal.
2. View each conflict as an opportunity to teach or learn something. Conflicts can be used as a team building exercise, encouraging transformation and/or growth.
3. Develop a plan for conflict resolution and follow-through when they arise.
Shalom Lamm believes that workplace conflict can cause decreased productivity, work disruptions, high turnover rate, and termination for either party involved. Identifying conflicts in its early stages and resolving them is important for an organization to grow.