5 Ways to Handle Workplace Disputes

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Conflicts exist, whether at home, in schools, or in workplaces. It’s something that’s long been part of the human experience.

In fact, from the Christian point of view, even the Bible tells us of the first known conflicts: those between Adam and Eve, Adam and Eve and the serpent, and Adam and Eve and God. These first conflicts ultimately led to the commission of the Original Sin, for which mankind has forever been banished from Eden.

Elsewhere, entire tribes, leaders, and countries clash against each other in conflicts that are caused by differences in opinions and overwhelming emotions.

Now, if you’ve been faced with a particularly serious conflict at work that you’re struggling to find a remedy for, there are some steps you need to take to arrive at a common ground with the person you’re in conflict with.

Here are five workplace dispute solutions you should explore:

Listen intently

Too many workplace conflicts could’ve been easily resolved if only the parties involved were willing to sit down and listen carefully to what each other was saying. However, on many occasions, both parties are keen on speaking out their minds and not having to give credence to whatever valid arguments the other party offers.

And so, one of the first things you need to do is to sit still, be quiet, and let the other person speak as you listen. If you do it sincerely enough, the other party would surely notice and would most likely do the same. This way, both of you have the chance to hear your respective arguments and perhaps be more than willing to concede that the other party has a valid point that’s worthy to be factored into the dispute resolution.

Let there be calmness

Emotions can be so overpowering that logic and common sense become unwelcome anymore. If you wish to come up with sensible solutions to workplace conflicts, then you need to take hold of your emotional outbursts and let calmness prevail.

One simple trick to do this is to silently count from one to ten as you slowly breathe in and out. You can repeat this process until such time that your emotions have died down already and you’re now ready to let your better judgment be your guide in handling the dispute.

Consider seeking legal help

lawyer working

If despite all efforts to handle and resolve the conflict between you and the other party, no solution becomes clear, then you should consider letting a legal expert help you out.

You could simply find a local law office that offers employment mediation services to act as a neutral party to resolve your workplace dispute. Such a service provider can offer an unbiased opinion and provide different ways of resolving the conflict.

Typically, conflict resolutions last several sessions until such time that both parties have agreed to come to terms. The beauty of having a legal expert mediate between you and the other party is that you’ll be properly guided on the legal aspects of your conflict.

This way, you won’t make any misstep that could land you in legal hot water. Plus, you’ll be resolving the conflict much quicker than when you try to resolve it internally despite your best efforts not bearing any fruit.

Concede the other party’s valid points

There have been too many instances when workplace conflicts could have been resolved sooner if only both parties are open to entertaining each other’s valid arguments. However, the sad truth is that emotions and pride often get in the way of smooth conflict resolution, and the endpoint being the conflict getting out of hand.

As such, be sure to see whether your workmate has raised logical points during your discussion and check if those valid arguments could help you resolve the problem easily.

Acknowledge conflicts and take them head-on

One of the worst things you could do when it comes to conflict resolution is not acknowledging it exists because you’re hoping that it would just die naturally. You may think that way but the simple fact is that the problem doesn’t go away magically and you still need to face it one day.

So, instead of letting a simple problem simmer into a full-blown one, you need to acknowledge it at once and find ways to resolve it within the organization’s confines. If there are existing guidelines on conflict resolution, be sure to study them and see how you could use them to address the problem you have with a co-worker.

Conflicts in workplaces are part of any organization’s dynamics, so they should be treated as a normal occurrence. However, they should also be taken seriously to avoid causing serious issues that could jeopardize the good working relationship among employees and management.

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