Conflict resolution is crucial because in every workplace in the world, conflict arises from time to time. The role of a good leader is not only to solve the conflict but also ensure that the conflict taking place does not affect productivity and morale. This is why when a conflict takes place in the workplace, a leader must prioritize conflict resolution and consider the possible strategies he can use to reach a mutual agreement between both parties.
A leader or manager should not always interfere, sometimes it is better to let issues be resolved between the employees. But as soon as conflict negatively impacts productivity, morale, and/or poses a threat to any of the employees, intervention is required to resolve the conflict.
Understanding the conflict
A situation is rarely what it seems, which is why it is crucial for a leader to understand both sides of the story before making any further decisions. It is necessary for a leader to not only understand both sides of the story but to also be able to see things from their perspectives. One must obtain all the facts, as well as understand the situation from the opposing perspectives. It is also very important to clarify that you are not taking any sides, and that you are acting as an impartial mediator.
Find a safe space to talk
It’s important that employees feel comfortable sharing any and all details regarding the present issue in order for conflict resolution to take place. It’s better to choose somewhere away from the office where they feel comfortable talking, where they can see you as a mediator rather than a boss. At the end of the day, conflict resolution is done to increase employee satisfaction and improve their working environments.
Investigate the situation
Next, after listening to both parties and acquiring a better understanding of the situation, a leader must investigate the situation, dig a little deeper, ask other employees around the office. As a leader you must ensure that you have collected all the facts you need in order to make a decision on how to attain conflict resolution.
Identify a solution that satisfies both parties
After understanding the conflict exactly as it happens, a leader must gather both parties and reach a common solution. At this point it is possible that both parties developed a better understanding of the other person’s perspective making it easier to reach a common goal. This step requires parties to set aside their differences and work together on creating a healthier work environment for the both of them, this stage may be time consuming but it is crucial to ensure the same problem doesn’t surface again.
Evaluate conflict resolution
A conflict is never resolved by just deciding on a solution, it is the leader’s job to ensure that the solution is being applied, and that both parties are content with the progress taking place. A leader must continue to check in from time-to-time to verify that the steps laid out in order to resolve the conflict are being efficiently followed to guarantee a smooth and productive workforce.
In conclusion, a leader must not shy away from conflict, leaving conflicts unresolved will only make things worse in the long run. It’s crucial that a leader acts without bias, with a goal of solving the issue for the sake of the company and not just an individual. A leader must act towards the interest of the company, and focus on increasing both productivity and employee satisfaction simultaneously.