Conflict at work is a normal experience that everyone is bound to encounter at some point, especially when considering the range of personalities which interact on a daily basis within the workplace. This may not only be with your co-workers, but also with managerial staff and customers or clients. Conflict in the workplace needs to be resolved in an appropriate and respectful way in order to prevent it from impacting on your relationships or your work performance.
In many cases, conflict occurs between two or more people who disagree on a particular issue or decision at work and find it difficult to reach a compromise. However, other situations which may lead to conflict include:
- Experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace, or having been accused of this
- Feeling as though you are getting treated unfairly and are not able to speak up in fear of ruining a work relationship or losing your job
- Having a difficult customer or client who is not happy with the service
- Being overwhelmed with work or tasks and feeling unable to say no to your managers
- Working within a team in which there is a great deal of disagreement or arguments
- Experiencing conflict in your personal life because of your work situation
You may also be managing a business or leading a team in which individuals are experiencing conflict. You may have tried to help them resolve the conflict or even tried to let it pass, however conflict will often cause a loss in productivity. In some cases, it can even lead to staff turnover. It is therefore important to have the right strategies in place in order to handle conflict in a timely and effective way.
In order to build up your conflict resolution skills, VCPS practitioners who specialise in workplace issues can be of assistance. They can help you to build the skills that are required to resolve conflict and improve your relationships in the workplace. Some of the specific areas that would be of focus include:
- Identifying the cause of any workplace issues, including what triggered the conflict, how often it occurs, and why it was unable to be resolved
- Helping to build the problem-solving, compromising and communication skills that are required to deal with difficult relationships and conflict as they arise
- Finding ways to better manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviours during challenging situations in the workplace
- Building the skills required to assist your co-workers or your staff to resolve disagreements and relationship break-downs