How do effective leaders resolve different types of conflict in the workplace?
- They establish a common goal.
- They own up to their mistakes.
- By listening actively to each party.
- By being direct.
There is an aspect of leadership training in the Philippines that emphasizes how conflict is unavoidable in the workplace. These unwanted situations such as disagreements among departments or between co-workers happen due to the following:
- Clashing of workplace values
- Goal differences
- Cultural differences
When it comes to effective leadership, leaders must have a sense of urgency to mediate any and all kinds of conflict as soon as possible. If left unresolved, long-term conflicts can make the workplace more prone to absenteeism or worse, result in higher employee turnover rates. If you are currently managing a team or just want to give yourself a head start in crisis management, here are some of the effective approaches that you can utilize to diffuse a situation:
Establish A Common Goal
Conflict is not something to be afraid of and avoid. The ability to reconcile and overcome disputes is an essential part of leadership development in the Philippines. Disputes can be good because it encourages two opposing parties to develop their communication skills as they come together, analyze, and reach a compromise.
To arrive at a compromise, both sides should agree on a goal that will ultimately benefit both. To achieve this, leaders must:
- Clarify what the disagreement was about.
- Collectively formulate solutions.
- End the meeting with a plan of action that adheres to the concerns of both sides. This will act as the common goal.
Own Up to Your Mistakes
When an incident arises, inexperienced leaders would point fingers or question their teams to know who was at fault when it was their decisions that led to the situation, to begin with. They may have missed important details or were too focused on your vision to listen to other suggestions that could have prevented problems from happening.
Admitting to your faults is an integral component of leadership development in the Philippines – no employee expects to have the perfect manager. We are not capable to fully embody the values that would constitute as the ‘perfect leader’. When leaders are transparent about their faults, others become more honest, and everyone ends up trusting each other more creating a more focused team.
Listen Actively to Each Party
To fully understand the situation, it is important that each person involved has a chance to express their side. While those who were affected share their stance and opinions, leaders should approach the situation objectively as they hold on to their prejudices towards their final verdict.
To actively listen to employees in an effective manner, these are the techniques you can follow:
- Display non-threatening body language. Practice eye contact and don’t fold your arms.
- Avoid interrupting.
- Show that you understand what your teammate is articulating by repeating what the person said in your own words.
- Ask questions if you need clarification.
- Bring up important points of the conversation at the end.
To weigh the gravity of the situation and segregate the facts from the opinions, it’s important to hear everyone out. Asking the right questions lets leaders uncover the who, what, when, how, and why the dispute started and how to best approach to handle the situation.
As a manager, it is part of the job to stay logical and be direct when your teammates cannot. When employees know they are about to be reprimanded for their role in a workplace dispute, some may have the tendency to act illogically or emotionally during a confrontation. Some will burst into tears, some will shout, and some will laugh out of nervousness.
The ability to control your emotional responses is arguably the most difficult trait to learn when you are undergoing leadership training in the Philippines.
If your coworker is crying, be empathetic but firm. Wait for him/her to stop crying before reminding him/her that this conversation is nothing personal. You are here to discuss what needs to be fixed. If he/she is laughing or getting angry, remember to keep your cool. After they see that you refuse to react to their actions, they then will start to see the error of their ways and stop.
Conflict is inevitable but is not unsolvable. All team leaders should know how to handle and solve them as efficiently as possible. While office disagreements have different causes, they can be dealt with in simple yet effective ways.
No matter the cause, team heads should first let two conflicting sides agree on a common goal which benefits both. Second, they should be able to admit to their mistakes and be logical. Third, they should know the whole story by listening to all sides involved.