How to avoid and deal with conflict in your workplace

Has a human we have individual desire, want, like and dislike, expectation, personality, perspective, level of tolerance and patience toward one another. Therefore, on occasion conflict are inevitable in the workplace or in team or group working together.

In a workplace setting we tend to be professional and be pleasant to our colleague in order to work together for the benefit of the company and our sanity, but on occasion. all hell breaks loose and untold happen to fellow colleagues such as fighting or temper flying out of control or freight I have experienced the latter with my staff in my previous job as a service manager and under the management of a toxic boss (I was the deputy manager) who had the gift of the gaff to push your button to bowling point or frightened you to submission and I witness fighting manager and staff (I was a support worker) where some staff where quitely cheering, other shocked and other somewhat helping trying to diffuse the situation at hand.

How to deal with conflict

In my experience the way I dealt with conflict depending on the situation I was faced with and avoiding full blown fight or argument was to meet the person halfway in essence compromising trying to find a solution suited for both of us or on occasion collaborating which is a skilled that I learned and I do it in a calm and compose manner non-aggressive behaviour. But when I was the deputy manager my toxic boss brought out this side of me I was competing and assertive and use my ability to argue, and standing up for my rights hence defending what I believe to be correct and still do.

I have also conducted training in diffusing conflict situation at the care home which I recommended when someone is irate to try to come down the situation by being calm looking at the person and using calming word such calm down and move away backward slowly not to be harm but your body language as a position is open while your eyes are looking at the person (not to stare at them) and speak respectfully to the person with re-assurance also you could advice that you are leaving to let them have peace and calm down or tell them to leave and comeback when relax. You can also advise the person to breath in and out deeply to relax and calm down.

Then because you at work you should write down the incident and report it to your manager straight away and if it involve your manager you should it report to it manager and the human resource department if you feel you need to has your manager should report it to human resources as in your workplace you should have a grievance and mediation process in place and interview both party fairly and see what can be done to avoid further conflict.

Managing workplace conflict could be a challenge especially when there’s a possibility that these could escalate into a harassment issue. Managers have a key role in fostering a culture of respect in the workplace and this starts by creating good relationships, encouraging good communications, and promoting an environment of trust, care and mutual respect.

Managers play a key role in cultivating a respectful working environment where conflicts is unlikely to occur. It is their responsibility to immediately address workplace issues as soon as they are brought to their attention this way escalation is prevented,

Manager or human resources should speak to employees about the company's organisational and human values and how conflict can seriously affect the achievement of the common goal and the benefit of working together to achieves the overall goal of the company. They should also emphasize the importance of meaningful conversations, collaborative problem-solving, mutual respect for one another and encourage employee to attend training related to managing conflict and stress that the company has a zero-tolerance policy and that any conflict or harassment should be brought to the attention of management immediately.

Management should be a role model has respect is not given but earned and setting a good example to employees will surely cultivate a culture of integrity, respect, fairness and boost the morale within the organisation. Manager should be sensitive to individual has operations may be important but not at the risk of losing the well-being of the employees, therefore always remember to communicate openly and respectfully to the employees at any hierarchical level of the organisation including board members in another word to respect people regardless the position you hold within the organisation.

An Overview of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)

At university I learned about Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) where he describes 5 types of behaviours people have to deal with conflict this was so interesting to me and recognised my behaviours during conflicting situating and I felt I should share as it may be of interest to you. Here his model below

This two basic dimensions assertiveness and cooperativeness in Thomas Kilmann model defines 5 different ways of responding to conflict as an individual and we could display one or more criterions as per Kilmann (2015) if you are interested in purchasing the book go to his website as it is for organisation An overview of the TKI

Competing: is assertive and uncooperative—an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person's expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which you use whatever power seems appropriate to win your own position—your ability to argue, your rank, or economic sanctions. Competing means "standing up for your rights," defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.

Accommodating: is unassertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of competing. When accommodating, the individual neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another person's order when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another's point of view.

Avoiding: is unassertive and uncooperative—the person neither pursues his own concerns nor those of the other individual. Thus he does not deal with the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.

Collaborating: is both assertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with others to find some solution that fully satisfies their concerns. It means digging into an issue to pinpoint the underlying needs and wants of the two individuals. Collaborating between two persons might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each other's insights or trying to find a creative solution to an interpersonal problem.

Compromising: is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. It falls intermediate between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. In some situations, compromising might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, exchanging concessions, or seeking a quick middle-ground solution.​

In Conclusion

Just be happy at work know to yourself that you cannot be friend with everyone but you must work together in a professional manner to achieve a common goal. Hence applying mutual respect for each other is a must and have a positive culture fostered in your working environment will always enable your employees to work to their best and apply their skills and knowledge to the fullest for the benefit of the company if they feel taking care of supported and respected.


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