Conflicts at the workplaces are common. While some are tolerable, other conflicts, if left to fester, can damage productivity and reduce job satisfaction. Anticipate and minimize their occurrences, and resolve conflicts as soon as possible.
Admit your Mistakes like a Man
Despite our best intentions, we make mistakes from time to time. It is always tempting to shift the blame or make excuses but the question is: Just whom are you trying to kid at the end of the day? A frank confession clears the air and fosters comradeship. Likewise, if you are the offended party, be ever ready to forgive slights; else it will show the world just how petty you can really be.
Know Your Job Role Well
Conflicts sometimes arise due to poor role definitions and inadequate communication. Ideally, job roles should be specific and tasks assigned accordingly. If you are not in a position to enforce this, have some form of understanding among the team members on individual roles and accountabilities before commencing on the project. You will be surprised at how this simple tip can be so effective in preventing future potential conflicts.
Watch That Tongue
Office gossips are hard to resist but will inevitably cause hurt or distress to the offended individuals. Make it a point not to trade information on the grapevine and do not spread tales. Rumours, especially those about some unpopular individuals, tend to spread quickly even without your help. The last thing you need to have is a collection of enemies to make your work life more challenging than it already is. If you are embroiled in a sensitive situation or controversial issue such as a discussion about politics or religion, always use tactful words and respond diplomatically.
Negotiate, not Argue
As part of a company’s check-and-control procedure, it is not surprising for both teams and individuals to have conflicting agenda. Individuals need to cooperate, build trust, and focus on the final desired outcome instead of dwelling on petty arguments. Team leaders can help to minimize inter-department rivalry by agreeing to a set of pre-defined sales territories, or a process to handle conflicts should they arise. This may involve the use of proven negotiation techniques, mediation by a neutral party, or even arbitration as a last resort.
Manners and Social Customs
Formalities and observed customs are necessary for harmonious interpersonal relationships, and the ability to conduct oneself appropriately is a must for today’s successful executives. Most of us work within a social setting, and we need to deal with customers, vendors, supervisors, and co-workers on a regular basis. The display of appropriate manners and courtesy will demonstrate our respect and consideration for the other party and they will, in turn, accord us with similar respect and courtesy.
Know Thyself and Thy Enemies
A good understanding about the person you are dealing with can help you to minimize workplace conflicts. Some individuals have the uncanny ability to irritate us past our limits but remember that there are always better ways than a punch to handle these ‘difficult’ individuals. For instance, if you are dealing with someone who is naturally hostile, always be firm and back your actions and decisions so that you can withstand the challenges directed by aggressive or hostile co-workers. However, when dealing with someone that complains excessively, acknowledge their feelings and help them to locate the real problem that is distressing them, all without losing your cool if you are not the person causing them their misery.
There are always conflicts at work. Minimise or avoid them wherever possible! ï€ ïƒ�
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R
This article is written and contributed by Cheng Tuck Siung who is the founder and Principal Trainer of Melchizedek Consultancy (www.mczd.com). If you have any career-related questions for him or would like to know more about the events they will be organizing, please send them to [email protected]