Conflict management at work is a science made up of many conflict management techniques that must be adapted precisely to each conflict situation.
The manager who seeks to resolve a conflict in a company must ensure that he has all the skills necessary for the proper management of the conflict.
How to manage a conflict at work? How to improve working relationships in a team?
In this guide, we give you 10 tips for better conflict management at work.
Learn how to manage conflict in a team, how to anticipate conflicts and become a better manager!
- Identify the different types of conflicts at work to better understand and manage them:
Understanding the different types of conflict allows the manager to help him define the conflict at work and the origin of this conflict.
With this knowledge, he is able to adapt his behavior and the measures taken in order to increase the chances of finding a solution to the conflict.
There are many types of conflict, all of which stem from underlying needs: the need for recognition or the need for transparency, for example.
There are for example:
- Conflicts of interest: These arise when two employees want the same thing, such as a promotion or a position. They then become enemies and each seeks to harm the other;
- Relationship conflicts: In any relationship, a tacit agreement binds the two people. This bond defines the nature of the relationship. The two people may not agree on the nature of their relationship: for example, one may think of having a colleague-to-colleague relationship when the other sees it as a more hierarchical relationship, employee to employee. superior ;
- Method conflicts represent professional conflicts that stem from a difference in the way in which tasks are performed. Sometimes two people do not give the same importance to the methods employed: for some, all that is important will be in the methods, for others, the main thing will be above all the result;
- Value conflicts relate to all the shifts that may arise in the vision of the values of the company. On a personal level, too, two employees may not share the same outlook on many subjects. This discrepancy often turns into conflict within the team.
In general, many types of conflict are variants of cognitive conflict: individuals do not share the same view of things.
For example, a delay in the transmission of information may be experienced as a real problem for one when the other sees it as a much more anecdotal problem.
In this example, more than the initial problem (the delay in the transmission of information), the source of the conflict is rather the lag in the appreciation of the seriousness of the problem.
The manager must therefore be able to clearly distinguish between the trigger for a conflict situation at work and its real cause.
- Act before conflict at work takes proportions:
The most common mistake made in conflict management at work is to let time take its course. In managing professional conflicts, the manager must not allow a situation to escalate, at the risk of jeopardizing the productivity of the entire team.
As soon as the problem is detected by the manager, the latter must react through dialogue.
What are the problems encountered? What is the element that leads to conflict at work? How to settle professional conflict quickly?
With just a few questions, the manager can understand the problem and deal with it at the source before it really becomes a company-wide conflict.
- Get to know your team to anticipate conflicts at work:
More and more, companies rely on the diversity of profiles in order to constitute teams rich in diversity and more versatile.
However, differences in culture or opinions often lead to the creation of conflict within the team.
The manager must intervene with the members of the team and evangelize the importance of playing on their differences to be complementary within this eclectic team.
Problems must be anticipated in order to better match the teams and to ensure that cooperation can continue.
At the same time, limit the differences in treatment between the different functions of the team.
All functions must be treated the same: the reverse will create "camps" behind which two different visions will fall.
Such a configuration is the privileged situation to create tensions. To be avoided absolutely therefore.
- Meet your team to manage the conflict in the company:
When a conflict is present in the team, how the manager communicates with the members of the team is going to be very important.
Start with one-on-one meetings where the employee will not be ashamed to express themselves freely about the conflict situation in which they are one of the actors.
Show your people that you want to help them as much as possible: ask questions, don't hesitate to ask for details about the situation and the initial problem. Knowing how employees feel about professional conflict is also a very important clue in determining the best method for resolving conflict in the workplace.
JoyCorporate Academy organizes training on improvement of communication skills, specially dedicated to employees.
After the individual interviews, offer a group interview where both parties will be present.
The goal here is to re-establish a dialogue between the two: let them explain each other, quite frankly.
The manager must manage this confrontation to allow enough freedom of expression for both parties without letting it degenerate.This interview is the starting point for the management of conflict at work itself. From there, the manager can propose solutions, compromises and agreements.
- Take a step back from the conflict situation in the team
During the discussion, the manager must adopt exemplary behavior to manage the conflict at work.
This is mirror behavior: by remaining calm, methodical and precise, he encourages his employees to do the same.
So, when faced with an angry employee, do not succumb to the reflex to raise your voice: stay calm, explain why anger will lead to nothing and move on.
The manager already has this role of example in professional life.
In the case of a conflict at work, this is all the more true since it occupies a place of mediator: the two parties at the origin of the conflict in the company rely on him, and thus offer him a position of director of operations.
By remaining calm and courteous, you force both parties to do the same: you take one step closer to calm conflict management negotiation that results in a concrete objective!
- Keep professional conflicts in the professional field
One of the roles of the manager in charge of conflict resolution at work is to preserve the well-being of his team. In particular, he must preserve certain respect in relations between employees.
In the particular case of a conflict at work, it is sometimes difficult not to take the situation to heart and not to get emotional. Emotions are at the center of the discomfort felt by both parties.
We must therefore learn to deal with these emotions while securing the personal aspect.
Beyond the basic social rules, (say "hello", greet politely, ask something tactfully ...) it is for the team manager not to tolerate attacks that affect the individual on a personal level.
The goal is to prevent professional conflict from turning into general discomfort for the employee: avoiding burn-out, or even depression, are priority objectives sought by the team manager.
- Establish yourself as the negotiator and propose clear and realistic compromises to resolve a conflict
During the discussion of conflict management in a company, the manager must propose solutions that contain compromises.
The manager’s goal is not to decide and determine who is right and who is wrong. Very generally, the two parties are jointly responsible.
It is therefore important to demand compromises from both sides. Otherwise, the employee who will be the only one to make compromises will feel aggrieved and betrayed by his superiors: this is the basis of a new conflict at work!
The compromises you propose must be clear, precise and equal on both sides in terms of or to provide for successful cooperation.
Do you want a technique to better manage the conflict?
Offer a compromise where both employees will feel the winners: it is the assurance that they will respect their commitments.
Likewise, giving them the feeling that the idea came from them can encourage employees to follow through on their long-term commitments.
- Use conflict at work to highlight the professional skills of employees:
Following the resolution of the conflict at work, it would be a shame to forget everything that was done to get there.
Whatever the stage, there is always a moment when employees in the grip of conflict in the company have had to show a sign of certain courage to express their problems, to explain the source of the unease they feel or quite simply to take responsibility for their feelings about conflict at work.
Do not hesitate to recognize this staff, for this very good example of soft-skill!
This positive communication eases tensions even more and allows employees to be valued.
Also, use this example of conflict management in business to prevent future crises: it will help you resolve the next conflict.
- Encourage a culture of trust and collaboration:
Conflicts in business are often inevitable: from this observation, it is normal to seek to derive benefits.
Clearly, the conflict highlights a problem in the workplace: are the company's choices understood by employees? Is internal communication effective? Do employees feel well listened to by the hierarchy or, on the contrary, totally neglected?
Following the resolution of a conflict at work, it may be interesting to set up brainstorming sessions where employees are encouraged to give their opinion on anything that could pose a risk of professional conflict.
The positive consequences are numerous:
The sources of stress that generate tension and therefore professional conflicts are highlighted.
This promotes a preventive reaction on the part of the manager to resolve a conflict at work even before it arises.
Employees feel listened to, they know that their opinions are taken into account: the exchange will become more and more natural between the team and management.
Explaining the problems encountered during training at Joy Corporate Academy allows company employees to be better able to manage conflicts as a team, without the need for the intervention of a third party.