Workplace Conflict Resolution: Definition, Process & Examples of How To Do It

Conflict can be a difficult thing to deal with in any working environment, especially if you’re the one involved in it. In fact, dispute resolution skills are an essential part of being a functional team. Resolving quarrels varies depending on the situation, but several steps help prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

This article is focused on workplace dispute resolution and includes definitions and examples of different types of workplace discord and how to resolve them.

What Is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is a process of identifying conflicts and differences in an open, honest and respectful manner. It is a way of communication that seeks solutions to problems or differences by seeking common ground, listening, understanding, and respecting others’ views. However, when conflict arises, it can be challenging to deal with it successfully.

The goal of conflict resolution is not to resolve all differences but to reduce the likelihood of future conflicts by addressing the underlying issues at the root of the problem.

How does The Conflict Resolution Process Work?

The workplace conflict resolution process is a series of steps that you should take to resolve a conflict in the workplace. It’s important to note that the process is different for every type of conflict, but it’s generally structured around four main steps:

Step 1: Identifying the Problem or Issues

In order to solve a problem, it is necessary to identify the issue or problems that are causing it. For example, in a conflict situation, identifying the issues can help determine if there is a need for mediation, arbitration, or legal action.

Step 2: Identifying Possible Solutions

In this step, you’ll look for solutions that may solve the problem and help everyone move forward. You may find that there is no single answer, so you’ll need to brainstorm possible solutions together. These might include compromise, mediation, or a third party neutral.

Step 3: Develop a Plan for Implementation

The third step in the conflict resolution process is to develop an implementation plan. The plan should include a timeline for follow-up, a description of each step that needs to be taken, and an estimate of how long it will take to complete each step.

Step 4: Implement the Plan and Evaluate Its Success

The last step of conflict resolution is implementing the plan you developed in Step 3. This step includes getting multiple people involved in ensuring it’s implemented well and working out any kinks you might have encountered during this process.

Workplace Conflict Resolution Techniques (With Examples)

You can use conflict resolution techniques to achieve a positive outcome at work. These are the following:

  • Discuss the problem calmly and rationally with the other person involved in the conflict so that they understand why you feel the way you do.
  • Focus on solving the problem rather than getting angry or frustrated. Leading by emotion is often the reason why people resort to yelling or screaming.
  • Make sure that your feelings are not hurt by what the other person says or does. Focus on how you can help each other solve this problem and move forward together as a team.

The end goal is to have an effective workplace conflict resolution. First, step back and try to think clearly. Then take slow and deep breaths. You’ll thank yourself later.

Takeaway: Workplace conflict resolution is tricky, but it can be done.


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