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6 Management Skills to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace

Tulsa Outsourced HR

Increasing Productivity in the Workplace

It is no secret that conflict within the workplace creates tension. Many times, this tension reduces productivity. Research shows that 70-80% of all conflicts in organizations stem from strained relationships between employees. The typical manager or supervisor spends approximately 20% of their time dealing with conflicts between employees. 

Many times, unresolved conflict leads to employee termination, separation, and sometimes litigation. To save both time and money, and create a happier, more productive workforce, it is a good business practice to develop conflict management and resolution skills.

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6 Skills to Reduce Workplace Conflict

Let’s look at six basic conflict management skills that work to reduce conflict in the workplace.

Skill One

Understand that conflicts are a natural part of all relationships. Whenever you get people together there will be disagreements. This can be especially true in high-stress jobs.

Skill Two

Understand why conflicts arise. Conflicts usually arise out of people’s misunderstanding of an issue, their needs, or their desire to be understood. However, how individual needs are met may be much different. Combine this with different personality styles and you will have a recipe for conflict.

Skill Three

Conflicts will grow if not managed. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.

Skill Four

Conflicts are growth opportunities. Managing and solving conflict builds trust among people. It also creates a foundation for future disagreements.

Skill Five

It is important to manage stress and emotions. Controlling emotions will allow you to communicate without threats or arguing.

Skill Six

Non-verbal communication can be just as important as verbal communication. Communication experts tell us most communication is non-verbal. Watch your facial expression, hand movements, and body language.

Now that we have laid a foundation, let’s talk about some conflict resolution strategies.

Conflict Resolution Strategies Matrix

  1. Develop effective listening and nonverbal communication skills. If you can listen to people they will see that. Often, it helps to repeat what the person said in your words.
  2. Always communicate positively. Try not to judge the other individual.
  3. Make the conflict management process more about resolution rather than winning. Remember that building relationships can create long-term business success.
  4. Focus on the here and now. It may not be necessary to bring up past issues unless there is a behavioral pattern.
  5. Don’t generalize. Words like “always” or “never” should not be part of the conversation.
  6. Use a third party or mediator when necessary. Always communicate positively.
  7. Find common ground. There’s almost always something you can find on which the two employees in conflict can agree. This is a critical step in rebuilding lost rapport and creating a platform for problem-solving.
  8. Attack the issue, not the person. Your concerns and points will be heard more clearly if you can keep to the facts without pointing out personal issues.

Five Areas That Can Undermine Your Team

In the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, the author identifies five areas that undermine a team. These include the following:

  1. Absence of trust. If the members of the team do not trust each other, then they cannot be totally honest with each other.
  2. Fear of conflict. Without trust people will not have the healthy debates that are necessary to arrive at better thought-through decisions.
  3. Lack of commitment. If the teams have not aligned behind a decision then the individual members who did not agree with the final decision will ultimately be less committed to that decision.
  4. Avoidance of accountability. If they are not committed to the course of action, then they are less likely to feel accountable (or hold other people accountable).
  5. Inattention to results. Consequently, they are less likely to care about the group results (and instead focus on achieving their own goals).

 

To build a strong team and effective culture we suggest positively using these dysfunctions. Build trust, allow healthy debate, encourage commitment, be accountable, and pay attention to results.

As business owners and CEOs, increasing productivity in the workplace is critical for success. Learning how to manage difficult employees will help your efforts in keeping your team productive.

LUXA Enterprises specializes in HR services, outsource accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. We match up with ideal candidates for services by allowing small to midsize businesses to increase focus on their growth through outsourcing. If you want to know how we can help you, contact us today!

REQUEST ONLINE PRESENTATION

We’ll demonstrate how you can save money while improving your efficiency and accuracy when you outsource your back office services to TEAM LUXA.
Let Us Present A Plan →
LUXA Enterprises download brochure

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