In any workplace, cases of disagreement and conflicts are bound to happen. However, this does not mean the parties involved cannot resolve the issues leading to disputes or disagreements.

We've compiled a list of some tips on how to handle workplace conflicts properly.

Identify the cause of the conflict

The first step of problem-solving is to identify the cause of the issue. The issue could be fairly obvious, or it could be hidden under passive-aggressive behavior, misunderstandings and lies. As a mediator, you should talk to both parties individually and understand each person's views about the situation. Normally, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

If there is no mediator and the parties involved need to solve the problem independently, they should calmly analyze the situation and allow the other to speak freely -- but respectfully. They shouldn't bring uninvolved people into their conversations.

Meet and communicate

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Once the cause of the conflict has been identified, the next step is to communicate. Individuals can do this step in two ways: using a mediator or not involving any other party. Communication can be challenging, yet it may be the most crucial step of conflict resolution.

If the mediator approach is taken, they will be the link between the various parties. The involved parties will express themselves to each other by giving their views, and the message is passed through the mediator. If there is no mediator, the parties involved can meet and communicate with each other in private. Each party should express themselves and listen to the other party without interruption or judgment in this step.

Put yourself in the other person's shoes

Once the parties involved have listened to each other's point of view, it is important to understand how the other person views the situation. After listening to them, try to relate to their thinking and understand why they have different approaches.

This change in perspective can help in handling the conflict. One may see they were inconsiderate of the other person's opinions or see that they are at fault. Another way to resolve the issue is to put yourself in the other person's shoes; this helps solve the conflict when choosing to be the bigger person and understand their view.

Determine the best way to solve the issue

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Once the cause of the conflict has been identified, the parties involved have met and communicated, each side has had a chance to express themselves and listened to the other party, then it is time to come up with a solution.

There are different ways of solving an issue, and the parties should choose the method that is best suited for them. The involved parties can do this by evaluating the situation and coming up with the best way of solving the conflict that works for both of them and the business.

View conflict as a way to grow

Most of the time, we view the conflict from a negative point of view. In most situations, it usually is a negative thing, but not in all instances. Sometimes conflict can be seen as an opportunity for growth of the overall workplace.

When two or more people in an organization do not have the same views on something, they may choose to agree to disagree. Just because they view things differently does not mean that a conflict has to arise. The involved parties can agree to handle the same situation differently, which may help in the general performance of the workplace.

Lead by example

When everyone else in the workplace environment, especially the company's managers, normalizes leading well by providing a peaceful environment, employees may also minimize conflicts. There will be a conducive work environment for everyone. When the workplace is peaceful, most employees will adapt to the culture, reducing conflicts.

Follow-up meetings

After most of the work has been done, from identifying the problem to finding a solution to the conflict, the handling process is more effective if there is a follow-up meeting. Follow-up meetings allow the parties involved to communicate and ensure the conflict has been fully solved. This also helps avoid a similar conflict in the future by constantly addressing the issue.

Final thoughts

While the onset of conflict can be daunting to resolve, finding a resolution is possible by remaining calm and listening to all parties involved.