There are three things in this world, which are quite inevitable for every white-collar worker – the taxes, a bunch of corporative events they must be present at, and the conflicts with their managers and colleagues. Examples of conflict in the workplace, as well as scenarios that could resolve the sharp situations, are different. But none of them lead to success without the general understanding of the subject and applying some basic rules.
For this reason, in this article, we are going to point out some possible conflicts at work that may arise in our office and some possible strategies to resolve them and defuse the atmosphere in our working space.
What are the different types of conflict in the workplace
Conflict resolution scenarios in the workplace depend on the type of conflict itself. The sociologists who develop different conflict resolution scenarios for adults define as well several types of contradictions that are most common nowadays.
As the scenarios are multiple, here we are going to point out some examples for better understanding.
The leadership agreement.
All the work conflicts can be divided into four major groups:
- Leader VS employee.
- Coworker’s conflict with a coworker
- Personal issues
- Business issues.
All the conflicts at work examples described below go under the classification.
Leadership conflict happens the most often when because all the people in the team are different, and some of them could disagree with the management style the manager or team leader opted for. Imagine this:
George has been working as a sales manager at the company for two years. Sales reports show good results with increased sales, plus take into account certain motivational techniques that help your reps in the best possible way.
However, certain representatives disagree with George’s style of managing. They think that he is very involved in the techniques, and has a lack of tact, he can scold a representative in front of the staff for what George supposes is a mistake. And he would not tolerate a bit of critic for himself.
One of the best representatives with a higher production is complaining more than the rest, he ends up threatening to resign.
What will George do in the end? What the conflict resolution scenario is? We will see it below.
There are some techniques for conflict resolution related to leaders, but all of them involve the following:
Conflict resolution techniques and scenarios
- Both employees must try to talk and resolve the conflict without having to interfere with any type of company department such as Human Resources.
- If the previous solution cannot be carried out, or not, as a result, it is necessary to go through a resolution through mediation.
- Within mediation, we must take into account all the needs that employees have. Emotions may be destructive and create a very complicated terrain within the workplace, so HR shouldn’t take his or her own sympathies to the parties. You must bear in mind that you cannot take sides anywhere.
- All the sides of the conflict mast get the time to calm down and a floor to speak. The mediator must ensure that employees calm down and see things more coldly and logically, this will be the first step to agree on the best solution.
And remember; your team leader should take the reps’ personal features into account to work effectively.
Conflicts related to work style.
Each person solves the problems and fulfills the tasks with different speed and scrutiny. It is OK as long as it doesn’t harm the effectiveness but sometimes a conflict situation can emerge.
We now turn to explain the following conflict:
John and Kelly work within the accounting department. John has been with the company for approximately 6 months, in the case of Kelly, he has been with the company for 10 years.
Jhon is a productive worker, but he is a procrastinator also. He usually waits approximately until the last day to carry out the work that has been commanded him. In Kelly’s case, he works every day, keeping the boss on the job every day.
Kelly complains that she has to worry about her partner’s.tasks in addition to her own.
Considering that our company produces thanks to the teamwork of certain tasks, Kelly is not comfortable with her partner because she has to wait until he hands over his part an hour before that deadline, provided they need to collaborate more often than not.
A team in trouble conflict resolution scenario
For this conflict we also have strategies for collaborators, here we will point them out, they are these:
- The first thing to try is for workers to try to resolve that conflict among themselves. If this is not effective, it is necessary to go to mediation, where they will understand each other’s feelings, views and motives.
- If the department where it occurs is too small and we cannot easily reorganize the staff, you may have to consider the possibility of changing the work structure, so they will not have to work together.
- Perhaps working in silos is not a good option in most cases, but if we want our employees to have the best possible environment, after having certain conflicts, we must take this measure. The employees will be happy.
- You must bear in mind that each worker has her style of work and if they do not coincide, these conflicts usually occur. Something that in most cases will be resolved with empathy and reorganization.
The conflicts of cultural origin.
Workers often try not to talk about politics, or about religion, although each of them knows their preferences about everything that is happening today.
But still, the examples of cultural conflict in the workplace are not so uncommon as people belong to different generations nations, races, confessions, and political parties.
The situation that we are going to anchor here is the following:
Ashley goes to work at her office like every other day, but with a sweater that supports the Democratic candidate, something that makes Betty angry. Betty thinks that this sweater is very hostile and creates a very negative environment.
With this situation, Betty decides to threaten to resign, and also to sue the company for allowing this environment.
Steps you can take handling personal employees’ conflict
It is better to prevent personal conflicts, rather than resolving them. You could do this with the clear rules written in an employee manual. So put very clear limits for your reps.
It is important to review this manual at least two or three times a year. This will make workers aware that it is not possible to invade the specific policy of the company. Public statements of religious or political sense have to be controlled in any type of organization.
In the case discussed, the company has not taken control in time. This is something that has gotten out of hand for the company, even facing possible litigation. If the conflict happens, her is a possible scheme:
- We must listen to everyone, so they must express these complaints so that the conflict is resolved. Then you have to commit to following company policy, to be respectful at all times with the beliefs of other workers.
- The two people have to know that if they maintain their personal beliefs for themselves, they will not have any problem related to hostility or bad environment. To do this, it is important to rely on the company.
Try to solve the problems conflict before they turn into a big messy snowball. Remember that ignoring the problem will do something very difficult to handle.
Sure, if the boss treats employees with respect and good empathy, it is always the first step to resolve that common conflict.