Conflicts at work – how to resolve them?

Conflicts – all of them, not just those at work usually arise because of poor communication. Stress, looming end deadlines, heavy responsibility and diversity of characters cause misunderstandings to arise. Tensions between employees or bosses can lead to decreased efficiency and poorer company performance. How do you resolve conflicts at work?

conflicts at work


Conflicts at work – what are they?

Conflicts are an inescapable part of our lives. They arise wherever human relationships are established. Unfortunately, it cannot be completely eliminated; one can only try to manage it. Conflicts at work can arise even in the most harmonious team. They arise through the conflicting opinions of at least two people.

Types of labour conflicts

There are several types of conflict that we can see in the workplace:

  • relationship conflict – the most common type of conflict that occurs among employees. It arises through lack of communication and diversity of characters.
  • conflict of interests – arises when we do not have the opportunity to realise our needs because the other party has put his or her best foot forward.
  • values conflict – we each have our own values in life, conflict arises when these conflict with the other person’s values.
  • data conflict – conflict arises when we are not given accurate information or if we misunderstand it.
  • political conflict – arises when political topics are introduced into the work and, as you know, everyone has different views.
  • structural conflict – this is conflict that arises from poor organizational structure.

Read also: How do you develop confidence at work?

Reasons for conflict at work

The main reason for conflicts at work is the lack of communication and the fact that each of us is different. We have different views or principles and they are not necessarily the same as the other person. Temperament and character play a big role here. Very energetic people may find it difficult to work with someone who is more aloof. Equally, if we have people with dominant character traits, they may bite with someone similar. The most common conflicts in the workplace are between employees and those in managerial positions. The boss may impose his or her will and the employee gets upset and reacts in an angry way. Team pressure for high performance or a dispute over promotion can also be a cause of conflict.

conflicts at work

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Ways of dealing with conflicts at work

There is no single, ideal way to resolve conflicts in the workplace. However, the most important thing is not to leave such situations unresolved. This can accumulate employees’ emotions and cause further conflicts. You should not pretend that there was no argument or smooth over the situation by sweeping your emotions under the carpet. Traditional ways of resolving conflicts are currently being abandoned because they are ineffective. Unresolved conflicts at work can have many negative consequences in the future. It is therefore worthwhile to deal with them in an appropriate manner. Here are some ways to deal with conflicts in the workplace:

  • Confrontation – involves people who are at odds with each other to meet and present their views. They need to talk openly about their feelings, versions of events and solutions. For this method to work, the two parties must want to settle the dispute. The aim of this method is to find a win-win solution.
  • Collaborative – this is a more benign type of conflict resolution. It involves two parties finding a common solution. So that it is good for both.
  • Compromise – a frequently used way of resolving conflicts. Involves partially satisfying one’s own needs and those of the other person. Both parties gain and lose from this, so that the relationship between them does not break down.
  • Mediation – this is one of the most popular methods that are used in difficult conflicts. If two parties are unable to deal with it on their own, a third person is involved. This is an intermediary or mediator who must be neutral and show professionalism. He or she is there to help direct the conflict to the right side.

Negative effects of conflicts at work

Conflicts at work can lead to many negative consequences and problems. Through a bad working atmosphere, employees can lose motivation and this will affect their efficiency. If a conflict is left unresolved, it can spoil relations in the company and lead to further conflicts. A team, in order to function well, should be in harmony and concerned with the overall good of the company. Constant quarrels and misunderstandings will not only affect the company, but also the employees. They may lose motivation to work, productivity and even feel burned out. It is therefore worth taking care of a positive atmosphere at work. Team bonding is very important to be able to work together in a pleasant way.

conflict at work

Tips on how to prevent conflicts

It is said that prevention is better than cure. This is also the case here. Conflicts can spoil the atmosphere at work, making you work less well. How to prevent conflicts at work?

  • At work, there should be an equal level of responsibilities among employees.
  • Team-building meetings build bonds and loosen the atmosphere.
  • Proper communication; speaking openly about one’s needs. Asking the other party if they have understood the information.
  • Ensuring qualities such as support, trust – so that employees feel they can express their opinions.
  • Listening to each other.
  • Controlling emotions and the words one says to the other person.
  • Mutual respect – everyone has different opinions, it is important to respect everyone’s opinion.

Conflicts at work do not always have to mean something bad. It allows us to learn our colleagues’ reactions, develop new ways of working and even improve team relations. A well-resolved dispute can bring new quality to a company.

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