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Managing ConflictsEmployee Relations April 21, 2014
We’ve all heard of managers running away or hiding from workplace conflicts; even human resource management are better off with other issues of the department than to deal with conflicts. Managers and supervisors alike are also fearful of this, often with their judgement clouded by personal interest rather than the greater good of the organization.
For managers, workplace conflicts are part of the package they signed up for; they will have to deal with this whether they like it or not. Almost every aspect of work within teams can be a source of conflict: promotions, team management, tough projects, expectations, evaluations, salaries, recognitions and yes, even personalities. If managers and human resource management are to show the true effectiveness of their functions then they should treat conflicts in the workplace fair and square.
It’s all part of the job
Conflicts will be easier to manage when it is first accepted as part of the job; avoiding it will not make it go away. The good news is that there are proven ways on how conflicts can be resolved. Likewise, workers that truly value their work but are involved in a conflict will understand that they too need to shape up lest they jeopardize their chances of professional growth in the company.
Face your fear of conflict
The more managers avoid handling conflicts the more they lose the respect of peers and workers. No matter how incapable managers sometimes feel in dealing with conflicts they still must get involved to help work it out. The experience will inevitably gain him wisdom and trust among his workers.
Cool, calm and collected
Insubordination is one type of conflict that managers find it hard to deal with. In instances like this the manager could be provoked to react in a negative way. The “hold your breath and count to 10” trick works wonder when they are pushed to the wall. Remember that it does not make you less of a man (or woman) if you don’t choose to retaliate or bite the bullet, so to speak. Buy some time for you best next move by staying calm and collected.
Be the voice of reason and wisdom
As a manager, it’s possible that some workers involved in a conflict are your personal favorites, and it’s easy to get clouded on which to side on. Likewise, your position as a team manager or human resource manager may cause peers to pressure you on to which side you should favor. Stay level headed and know who you are – you’re management. You hold the responsibility of being fair to any member of your organization and to always uphold truth and high morale. Let no one pressure you to do anything other than the right thing.
Resolving conflict is not always about “defeating the enemy”
Human resource management must allow this thought to resonate among workers in the organization; constructive resolution is all that matters. What good is there in winning the battle but losing the war that have obviously created bigger conflict and affected more people in the process? Likewise, when this thought becomes part of the organizational culture workers will learn to arrest conflict long before it becomes a major issue.
Article Contributed by HR in Asia‘s Team.
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