An inevitable part of running a business or managing a team is learning to deal with conflict according to Instant Offices. Largely unavoidable and precarious if left unresolved, conflict has a way of finding you, even if you try to avoid it. So how do you spot it, when do you intervene and how can you effectively put it to rest?
- Remember that conflict isn’t always a bad thing
- Learn to recognise common causes of conflict
- Differences in personality. This could also be due to differences in styles of working. This source of conflict was mentioned in 44% of cases of conflict in a representative survey of UK employees.
- Performance management.This involves problems with an individual’s competence or performance (33% of cases), the level of resources or support people need to do a good job (23%), or being able to agree on objectives or targets (18%).
- Hierarchy or power dynamics.These contribute significantly to employees’ experience of conflict. The more junior person in a working relationship is more likely to report conflict (i.e. to say that a given interaction or situation is ‘conflict’), more likely to say that it’s stressful or demotivating, and less likely to feel that it’s adequately resolved.
- Put early warning systems in place
- Communicate a conflict resolution policy to your team
- Recognise when to intervene
- Face conflict head on
- Be sensitive about your resolution approach
- Have an action plan
- Never stop communicating
- Use conflict as an opportunity
Being a leader requires confronting problems head on. Dealing with the needs of individual employees can seem like a complex and daunting task, but it all comes back to communication.
By Jonny Gifford, an adviser on organisational behaviour at CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)