In the workplace, employees often have opposite personalities that can cause them to perceive situations differently. Stress is prevalent in the corporate environment, and together with disagreements and tension, working conflicts can often result from employees with varied cultural viewpoints.

Knowing how to manage employees with opposite world viewpoints is vital in keeping morale and productivity high.

What you need as a manager are strategic steps to take when opposing viewpoints collide, something that you can rely on to steer back the staff to a more cohesive mindset.

Managers should not ignore potentially explosive opposing world viewpoints

All humans are emotional creatures, and their biases or trigger points are based on cultural or world experiences. These filter mechanisms shouldn't dominate during conflicts, as the results for your organization are usually disastrous.

As in almost any social setting, you will find that some of the most divisive workplace discussions are world politics, cultural beliefs and religion. Certain biases may creep into work-related conversations, ultimately turning relationships tense. You can't ban politics or lay ground rules on how your employees should feel about each other, particularly if they don't share ethnicity, faith, or political beliefs.

You can't also ignore politics or world cultural differences and let it negatively affect the work atmosphere. While it's your responsibility to train employees on effective communication and conflict resolution strategies, workplace issues where cultural world viewpoints are causing differences can be sensitive. If you don't want your role to turn from a manager into the company's police officer, here's how to manage employees with opposite world viewpoints.

1. Detach from bias

You, as the mediator, must be self-aware, acknowledging your own biases, preconceptions and trigger points so that you can rise above them to handle your employees. To identify the problem, you should adequately identify how you perceive the world. Otherwise, you'll be unable to see others' perspectives.

Becoming self-aware as a strategy for managing employees with divergent world viewpoints will involve how emotional or physically reactive to conflict situations you are. Some common approaches to workplace conflict evoke responses such as:

  • Disengagement and avoidance: Recognizing a problem and, instead of dealing with the conflict, avoiding it.
  • Accommodation: Resolving conflicts in ways where you do not meet an employee's needs. If not corrected, this results in resentment.
  • Compromise: When the two differing parties naturally agree to a solution.

While each response has its time and place, managing employees with opposite world viewpoints will require collaboration. You will have to work together to find a mutually beneficial resolution. Depending on the severity of the disagreement, avoidance might work for minor issues, but it's not a prudent strategy for conflict management.

2. Listening actively

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There's a need to fight the urge to formulate responses according to your perspective before simply listening instead. In emotionally charged situations, people are usually preparing something to say as the other party is talking.

Your active listening involves giving the other person time to speak and then digesting their viewpoints to empathize with them. It doesn't mean that you agree with the employee, only that you acknowledge their opinions or perspectives; you are trying to put yourself in that person's shoes.

When you mediate workplace conflicts where employees share divergent viewpoints, it's advisable to improve on attention by avoiding distractions. These include anything that can prove a nuisance to the aggrieved party, such as a ringing office phone, computer, fiddling with smartphones, or papers on your desk.

3. Empathy in practice

Being empathic refers to a capacity for understanding an employee's feelings through verbal and non-verbal communication. You can provide the moral support they need. You as a manager must engender to link that person's behavior to their emotions, which builds trust.

Your acknowledgment of an employee's feelings is one step toward understanding their viewpoints during a crisis.

4. Focusing On behavior instead of the person

When you mediate workplace differences of viewpoints between employees, focus on behavior, actions and words. You should avoid dwelling on the perpetrator's character or person, keeping in mind that behavior is an attribute of their attitudes and beliefs.

Take a position in the disagreement or conflict, not calling into question anyone's beliefs or values. Be as neutral as possible. By pointing out questionable behavior, instead of morality or virtues, the personal gets circumnavigated, alleviating the inevitable clash of viewpoints.

5. Know where to draw the line

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Before taking further action, you must exhaust the provided conflict resolution toolkit while relying on procedures and the company's policies. A conflict of viewpoints between employees gets based on a person's behavior toward another, and a reference of the organization's handbook on the interaction policy should follow.

A set code of conduct can resolve conflicts by keeping each party's expectations within the scope of the company's framework.

You shouldn't expect employees to decide on how to handle the conflict autonomously. Instead, refer to the value statement that's in place. Even though you may value self-sufficiency and innovation, in this situation, personal issues resulting in opposite viewpoints negate this value.

6. Embracing diversity

The challenges of a diverse workforce center around communication, where opposite world viewpoints have resulted from customs and religion. You shouldn't just accept differences; instead, embrace them fully across your business landscape.

A shared vision while embracing differences is crucial for a successful business, and you must map out workplace conduct. The environment you create can sensitize and motivate your employees to be effective workers while contributing to the workplace's general convergence.

Conclusion

Being able to discuss openly productive issues helps employees maintain workplace ethics, performance and productivity. Use tact while speaking and practice active listening. By doing so, you'll encourage and create an atmosphere where you and your employees can handle divergent viewpoints and heated arguments.

In a healthy workplace, employees show responsibility while freely expressing themselves. They will uphold respect for the company culture and its core operating standards while focusing on inclusivity and business goals.