The first step in managing and resolving conflict is to identify it. To establish a general indication of a conflict in the workplace managers need to look for signs such as:
– Increase staff absenteeism
– Decreased staff performance
– Decreased team performance
– “Awkward or tense” feeling in the workplace
– Staff deliberately hurting each other
Once a manager has determined a conflict occurring, they need to enact the organizations conflict resolution process that best suits the situation. The basic process involved in most conflict resolution systems involves the subsequent steps:
1. Leaders and involved staff need to acknowledge that a conflict exists and that if it is not mitigated; will have an amplified negative impact in the workplace.
2. The involved staff and manager need to identify the conflict and why it has arisen.
3. All parties need to talk about and gain an understanding of the negative impact not only on their relationship but on further areas of the organization as well (team, department, unit and organization).
4. The manager needs to explain why it is best for the parties to undertake an accommodating conflict resolution process. They also need to ensure that both parties understand each other point of view and situation as to why they acted like they did. The manager needs to exercise their problem-solving skills, actively listen, be patient and unbiased.
5. The next step involves the parties explain their positions and emotions in regard to the situation. The manager and staff need to solidify facts and clarify misunderstandings to allow the involved staff to make a distinction between the problem and the person.
6. Staff now need to work on solutions. This will involve each party listening to each other’s ideas in order to create a collaborative resolution.
7. Once the brainstorming phase is completed. The employees and the manager must now agree on a solution that suits both parties, preferably ending in a win-win solution. They need to agree on what needs to be done, responsibilities, where and when; as well as what resources they may require.