Examples Of Conflict In Workplace

Examples Of Conflict In Workplace

The Facts

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Everyone in a workplace may come across conflicts, in one way or the other. Disagreements, complaints, and problems will always require their attention at the workplace. So, conflict situations in the workplace are inevitable. Therefore, a leader must learn how to handle such conflicts to make the workplace a happier and more productive place. It is up to the leader to address, anticipate, and solve problems through awareness and higher emotional intelligence. 

What are the Examples of Workplace Conflict and How to Handle Them?

Mentioned hereunder are the examples of workplace conflicts and the methods to handle and prevent them.

  1. An employee believes they have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination.

Despite training and increased awareness of discrimination, thousands of individuals feel they get discriminated against at the workplace.

The significant areas of discrimination include

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Nationality

Leaders must address the sexual harassment or discrimination complaints with utmost respect and severity. They must listen to the story with an open mind if someone comes with a complaint. They must note everything while listening to the complainant – time, witnesses, dates, situations, etc.

A leader may want to look into professional employment discrimination training if the company faces problems with discrimination. Education on discriminatory behaviors can reduce the risk of complaints and make the employees respect each other.

  1. An employee gets accused of discriminating or harassing others.

Harassment and discrimination in the workplace often go unreported and are difficult to pin down, especially in the case of sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment involves

  • Unwelcome advances
  • Verbal or non-verbal behaviors
  • Request for sexual favors
  • Inappropriate statements
  • Lewd gestures
  • Inappropriate texts, images, or emails

A leader must take action if there are rumors of sexual harassment at work or someone has reported it directly. S/he must listen to both parties (the complainant and the accused) before announcing the conclusion. They must write down the relevant facts like time, dates, witnesses, situations, etc. They must approach the case with an open mind and be clear that they will not tolerate any acts of retaliation. They must also make it mandatory for all employees to undergo harassment training.

  1. Poor communication that results in an error

Business leaders often face the conflict of inadequate communication. A communication conflict at the workplace can quickly result in poor productivity, tension, and more errors.

A leader must address all the communication issues when many people are still working from remote locations. They must take a hard look at the situation if someone commits a mistake at the workplace. They must address the tense situation immediately after it happens. They can openly discuss the conflict with those involved. They must set clear expectations for the future after having explored what happened.

  1. Various work styles or personalities are clashing.

A leader must serve as a mediator between employees with contrasting personalities, work style conflicts, and clashing preferences. Disagreements are inevitable when people have different points of view. However, it does not mean that such issues are unsolvable.

A leader’s job is to encourage diversity in the workplace and find ways for the successful collaboration of the team members. They must be self-aware and conscious of the people working with them. A leader must look into executive coaching to effectively adapt to maximize the efforts of others.

  1. Tension erupts between departments.

Conflict of inter-departmental tensions or disagreements is inevitable in a workplace. Departments may not get along if they do not have common goals or feel neglected by the management. Sometimes, separate teams or departments within a company do not effectively communicate with each other. The problem here is called the silo effect. It leads to low productivity, tension, and poor collaboration.

A leader can adopt the following ways to encourage success and cooperation between departments.

  • Reward collaborations between the company boundaries
  • Communicate with each team transparently
  • Encourage organization networking
  • Create centralized goals for each department

Why is it Necessary to Resolve Workplace Conflict?

If a leader leaves conflicts unresolved in the workplace, it may cause company culture, workplace morale, and productivity issues. No employee wants to work in a tense and aggressive environment where they feel uncomfortable. It may lead to higher staff turnover, poor job performance, and increased leaves as the people do not want to work. Prolonged conflict in the workplace can also lead to legal issues.

Leaders who manage conflict can find creative solutions to internal relationship issues. They can also help prevent environments that breed stress, negativity, general employee unrest, and demotivation.

What are the Tips for Resolving Workplace Conflict?

Mentioned hereunder are the conflict resolution steps to adopt for a workplace.

  1. Keep Calm

A leader must calm down and accept the reality of conflict in the workplace. They must introduce a plan to deal with the problem by talking to the involved team members before the tension grows unbearable.

Moreover, they should not let the situation get intense and tackle the conflict before it gets too far. Leaders should never let emotions get the best while resolving workplace conflicts.

  1. Communicate and Listen Actively

A leader must get together with all team members and listen to every detail. They must tap into their empathy and have a dialogue with everyone. They must make sure that every individual gets a chance to address the issues. They must listen to everything carefully before turning to talk and showcase the ability of a great listener. Active listening is critically significant in resolving workplace conflicts.

  1. Self-reflect the Conflict

A leader must reflect on both sides of a situation to conclude with an unbiased solution. It will help them see from other people’s points of view and understand what they are feeling and thinking during tense situations. A leader must focus on agreeing and not on where a disagreement may happen.

  1. Embrace the Conflict Situation

The worst thing that a business leader can do is ignore conflict in the workplace. Conflict will happen in the organization whenever a group of people with differing opinions come under a single roof. A strong leader must approach and resolve the conflict situation amicably and professionally. It will help make both parties feel valued and work towards creating a productive work environment.

  1. Showcase the Facts

Sometimes, the employees engaging in a conflict may not know that their behavior has affected the business. Leaders can call a meeting between the affected parties and focus on the work issues. They can bring the teams’ attention to how the fighting or internal politics has affected their job performance, customers, and colleagues.

Final Words

A leader must learn conflict-resolution skills to resolve any conflicts in the workplace. They can showcase their leadership skills through proper training and problem-solving skills. It will help them deal with harassment, discrimination, departmental tensions, poor communication, and other workplace conflicts. They can approach organizations for executive and leadership coaching to improve their problem-solving tactics. 

Additionally, they can conduct workplace investigations and training to discover the sources of common conflicts. It will help them work toward eliminating all workplace conflicts in a short period. Leaders who know how to curb or prevent the effects of workplace conflict are the ones who can successfully run organizations.

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