Good leadership is about taking control of sticky situations and having a calming influence on others. Of course, when conflict erupts, whether on the factory floor or in an office, you have to step up and defuse the situation. You need to listen to both sides of the argument and mediate to defuse the tension. Fortunately, it is possible to resolve conflict with a few tricks up your sleeve.
So, how to resolve conflict at work through good leadership?
Speak to the Parties Involved
It’s important you know the source of the conflict otherwise it’ll be difficult to resolve. So, you must speak to everyone involved. For instance, have a one-on-one chat with each individual, then bring them into the office at the same time. Most conflicts occur because of miscommunication or misunderstanding and can be easily cleared up. Nine times out of ten, a brief chat with the individuals is enough to de-escalate the tension.
Stopping conflict early shows good leadership and prevents unnecessary tension too.
Have a Formal Meeting with the Individuals
When a serious conflict rumbles on you have to arrange a formal meeting with both individuals. While both parties should relay their grievances, you must remain impartial. You must show good leadership and mediate a resolution. If possible, get them to shake hands and agree to an end to the conflict.
If this is not a workplace feud, it’s even more important to remain neutral and inform them it’s inappropriate to bring outside problems to work. If they don’t listen and continue the feud, you could issue both with a verbal warning. It might spark some sense and bring an end to the conflict. Remember, leadership means making tough decisions. Sometimes, your initial actions will resolve the problem before it escalates.
Bring in a Mediator
Some conflicts are beyond your scope and even with patience and resolution it doesn’t bring an end to the tension. It makes for an unhappy and somewhat dangerous workplace. So, show initiative and bring in an outside mediator. This may help resolve the conflict by having a third party involved (who isn’t known to either individual). It is also a mark of your leadership skills. If you can’t easily fix the problem, bring in someone who can.
Separate the Two
Things happen in the heat of an argument that doesn’t require serious intervention from a manager. Typically, minor conflicts can be resolved by sending each person involved to another department or area, temporarily. It gives people time to cool down which usually settles the matter. Good leadership is about identifying the problem and giving each person the chance to walk away from the tension. This is sometimes the simplest solution to ease tension and resolve conflict.
Leadership Always Brings New Challenges
Conflict happens in any workplace and most are resolved in minutes. Sometimes, the parties involved come to their senses and apologize and they’re friends again. Of course, when that doesn’t happen, you have to show some initiative and step in. It means remaining impartial and seeking resolutions to the problem. You might also need to bring an outside mediator for serious workplace conflicts or move one individual to another department for the day.
By showing good leadership you can resolve conflicts easily.