Our previous blog provided 5 handy hints to avoid causing conflict within the workplace. Here, we continue our hints to help you manage and maintain a healthy workplace. Read, learn and then manipulate them in your managing courier and become a better team player!
6. Criticise with caution.
You will be required from time to time to point out mistakes or critique the work of your staff. This should be undertaken in a spirit of support: never criticise anyone’s work unless you can make practical suggestions for improvement.
7. For the sake of argument, don’t.
Arguing is a needless waste of energy and time. A battle between two closed minds only results in both parties clinging more tenaciously to their positions. It is far wiser to listen to the other point of view, understand the stance being taken, and attempt to guide the other party towards your point of view through negotiation.
8. Try to be tolerant of others.
Be aware that rarely is anyone ‘right’, because all of us view situations through our own unique perceptual filters. Conflict arises when we refuse to respect or tolerate another person’s values or opinions. Never condemn someone for failing to live up to your expectations, for such behaviour breeds hostility and frustration that is guaranteed to hurt your colleague – and you as well.
9. Never play favourites.
The teacher’s pet is often the cause of much resentment in the classroom. So too in the management situation. Avoid the friction caused among staff when you intentionally or unintentionally show preference for one staff member over another.
10. Confront an emerging conflict head-on
Finally, if a conflict situation between you and a member of staff seems inevitable, tackle it immediately by discussing it with those involved. Never leave the scene, sulk, or withdraw support or cooperation when the going gets tough – such behaviour will not defuse the core issue. Ignoring conflict situations will only ensure greater problems later on.
Carl Rogers suggested that, to clear up misunderstanding promptly, each party should restate the other’s position to the other’s satisfaction, thereby forcing each to briefly adopt the other’s frame of reference. The situation then becomes less emotional, with both parties doing more thinking and listening. The more rational people become, the greater the opportunity for conflict resolution.
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