In an interview to Harvard Business Review, Anna Ranieri, a career counselor, coach executive and coauthor of “How Can I Help?”, gives us an advice about conflict resolution strategies, mainly at work. She believes “people often just want a safe place to vent and in doing so, may figure out on their own what they want to do”. A conflict at work may affect the mood and, therefore, the productivity of an entire team. That’s why inspiring reconciliation demands confidentiality. Here are 3 key principles to restore peace at work:
1. Put yourself in another’s place
“I’m sorry this is happening”, “It’s tough when two people cannot see eye to eye.” While you listen to your colleague, show that you understand how sad the situation is, without ever taking sides. Demonstrate that you, the manager, is completely open to all the colleagues. Stay neutral and avoid citing your own experience. Provide remarks as: “It seems that Abel was stressed and did not mean what he said” or “I know Demetrius is an outspoken person and this may sometimes seem rude.” One of the smartert conflict resolution strategies is showing that you understand what’s going on by your colleagues, but never going so far by saying things like “You’re right and he’s wrong.”
2. Put the other with the others
“If you don’t get along, it’s bad for everyone. It prevents us from doing a good job, you know?” Once you have expressed your concern, make it clear how the fight is affecting the team. You help both sides to see that the conflict harms other colleagues. Propose: “Imagine if you knew or even saw that Bianca and Caio are discussing. Would it be comfortable to you?”
3. Advise tête-à-tête
“Would it be helpful if I suggested a way to solve this?” Naturally, it is virtue and responsibility of a manager inspiring reconciliation; nonetheless, introduce yourself to your coworkers with kindness. Another point: get ready to hear obstinate answers: “Yes, I could apologize to Abel, but I think he should apologize first” or “Yes, I want things to be better with Demetrius, but it never will work”. Management experts list some advices to give during a conflict resolution:
a) The world turns
You never know if the colleague with whom you fight now will become your boss in this one or in your next job. What if a relatively insignificant quarrel compromise or even spoil your future opportunities?
b) What’s going into his/her head?
Behind the unpleasant behavior of a colleague, may be severe personal problems. Never forget that the other person may be anxious, frustrated, stressed or depressed, even when he/she don’t show.
c) Definitely, we are not self-sufficient
We live and work connected to each other. Even if you do not need directly some colleagues, at some point in the process the skills will complement.
d) Be attractive to the market
One of the worst poisons to achievements is the complication of people to relate. Thence, professionals who prove a higher emotional intelligence and so, great conflict resolution strategies, are more desired by employers.
e) What is professionalism to you?
Even when the personal relationship with a colleague seems unsustainable, the professional one shall be guided by civility. All for the good of the company where you work. Professionalism implies friendliness.
f) All of us have limitations
Many people have difficulty to express themselves verbally and end up saying the wrong thing. Great hurts sometimes begins simply from a poorly constructed sentence. Besides making you more human, seeing the others’ limitations avoids suffering.
g) Everything is temporary
How valuable will be this fight in five years? In ten years? Jobs, colleagues, fights, everything is temporary. Perhaps you realize that you are wasting your time and your health by a nonsense. Invest more time in taking good care of your best friends.
It’s pretty usual that conflicts inside the team grow up just because a communication full of misunderstood, tasks being delegated by several “bosses” or frequent delays because of a stack of emails. Protect your business’ productivity and your team’s professionalism by fostering Runrun.it. Try it for free: http://runrun.it
Recommended for you:
- 6 leadership styles: find out yours
- 6 good leadership books we suggest to you
- Public speaking: 5 definitive tips