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We spend most of our lives at work, and conflicts are bound to arise between colleagues, making the work of a supervisor, team leader or manager a bit of a challenge.

Being in a management position, you may often be called upon to diffuse and resolve workplace conflicts, and you need to  effectively employ a number of skills to help you deal with such situations.

Here are some useful strategies you can employ:

1. Don’t Avoid It

Hate to break it to you but avoiding an issue will not make it go away. On the contrary, if you let it brew, no matter at what level, there will come a time when it escalates to the point of no return. Rather than hoping it will pass, the earlier you deal with it, the less potential damage it will cause. Tackling the issue early on will also help avoid grudges and an unpleasant work environment.

2. Listen Actively to Both Sides

We have all been in situations where we listen to reply rather than listen to resolve. Listening to both sides of an argument in a calm and collected manner will not only help you collect information on the issue, but it will also reveal a great deal about the parties involved.  Active listening to both sides will help you determine factors such as why this conflict has arisen and the underlying reasons for the situation.

3. Respond,  Don’t React

We often find ourselves reacting to an issue, sometimes even instinctively, that we fail to solve it or even make it even more pressing. Managing a conflict should not be about reacting to it but rather responding in an organised and focused way that will help resolve it rather than throw fuel to the fire.

4. Offer Guidance

Dealing with conflict in the workplace doesn’t only mean a disruption of workflow. The aftereffects can remain for a long time unless they are resolved promptly and professionally. As a HR Expert you will be required to offer guidance to resolving the conflict without remnants of unfairness, favouritism or rejection. Once the root cause is determined, your guidance and management skills are essential into the resolution of the conflict and the return of a healthy working environment.

In the end,

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. While we can try to avoid conflict, we cannot escape conflict. We don’t all want the same thing, work the same way or have the same personalities.

Take up the conflict management skills training to help you  embrace and address workplace conflict within your organization and team in a healthy, peaceful and productive fashion.

To book a spot, email Catherine, the training coordinator, on catherine@corporatestaffing.co.ke and copy muthoni@corporatestaffing.co.ke.

Remember, A happy workplace is a healthy workplace!