Workplace conflict is sadly fairly common. Around a third of people report being bullied at work, and this can happen in even the friendliest teams. So if you manage a team it is important to know how to handle conflict in the workplace. After all, we all spend a large chunk of our lives at work, so workplace relationships can have a big effect on our mental state.
Do you want to improve the emotional environment in your workplace? If so, here are four tips to help you handle conflict at work.
h3>1. How To Handle Conflict At Work: Establish And Unacceptable Behaviour
If you own a business or manage a team it is your job to establish unacceptable behaviour. If everyone knows how they can (and can’t!) act, employees are less likely to cause issues within the team. Some examples of unacceptable behaviour include;
Making personal comments (about personality, appearance or lifestyle).
Being excessively critical of other employees.
Having a temper.
Avoiding unpleasant tasks.
Frequently being very late.
Gossiping about other employees.
Once you have established a list of unacceptable behaviours, share them with your team. You could do this via a group email, and then going forward you could include the list in the induction for future employees. This should help to reduce workplace conflict.
2. Keep An Eye Out For Tensions
It is also important to look out for tensions within your team. Issues can arise during group projects and tasks, and personalities can clash at any moment. Sometimes this can be avoided if a manager picks up on the tension before it reaches boiling point, so try to be aware of the relationships between your employees.
It is also important to consider this if you run a virtual assistant team. Many managers assume that a virtual assistant team can’t have tensions, but issues can crop up if one worker is slacking on team projects. So always keep an eye out, even if your team is remote!
3. Don’t Join In With Office Gossip
You should also try to avoid joining in with office gossip. This tends to make you look bad to other team members, and it could also increase workplace conflict, especially if you take sides with one employee.
If you do hear employees gossiping about another employee, think about how you can resolve the issue (rather than making it worse). For instance, you could call both members in for a staff meeting to discuss the issue with each other.
4. Look For Opportunity Within Conflict
Most conflicts provide people with the opportunity to grow; you just need to look for the lesson. It could teach employees more about teamwork and collaboration, or it could help them to work on their communication skills. As the leader it is your job to help employees develop and grow, so take some time to think about the upside of the issue.
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