How to handle conflict in the workplace

Conflits Entre Collaborateurs

When co-workers look each other sideways within the company, tension is rising up, and clans are forming all over the place, in the work space, it is up to the manager to take things into his own hands quickly, or else it will impact the atmosphere and the quality of work. And if we don’t put an end to it, it might also affect the productivity of the company. But how can a manager get out of a situation of conflict and re-establish a serein work environment among his teammates?

Try to connect a disconnected communication

Most of the time when there is conflict between co-workers, it is due to a lack of communication between them or just a bad communication. For that reason, as a manager, you must first connect and bring back communication on both parts. Doing that requires a certain way of proceeding. It consists of calling them separately in the office, listening to what they have to say in order to make them understand that this situation full of hostility and clans has to stop and it is up to them with some of your help to re-establish a valuable conversation as mature professionals.

Next, get them together

After the first step that consisted of you getting the individuals in question separately, now get them together to clearly make them understand that you won’t allow them to not speak or argue. Make it clear that you demand for each one to take a step toward the other, as soon as possible, by first taking the time to think about ways to work better together. Do not hesitate to listen to their suggestions in order to bring them together and create a “protocol” agreement among them. If that is not enough, you immediately get a mediator who is qualified for that type of situation.

Avoid a group effect that make people go against each others

As a manager, there is a risk that people might come complain to you. In cases like this, you must not allow to become the “wailing wall”. To do so, you must tell to the people coming to you that you are not here for bad-mouthing, complains and negative comments. You must of course, listen to them but without taking anyone’s side. Make the plaintiff know that you want him to offer you some suggestions on possible solutions and not just focus on the issue. Explain them how to talk to the people they are criticizing, and how to do that in a constructive manner, says the team coaching expert, Paul Devaux. Don’t let people always come to you i order to complain as if you had a magic stick that would make people get along with each others, he added.

Value good behavior to encourage the others…

When you notice some good interactions between co-workers, share the progresses with the group during meetings. You must therefore take the time to value good behaviors. Don’t be exactly forthcoming with positive feedbacks. Well that’s at least what Paul Devaux says who thinks that acting that way might make people tend  to move as a unit.

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