No matter how collaborative and friendly your company culture is, managers always find themselves in a middle of a conflict. Conflicts are hard to prevent in diverse business environments.
Workplace environment can be stressful due to number of reasons—personal problems, workload, deadlines, or peer pressure.
As a manager, it’s your job to navigate these situations without allowing negativity affect your workplace. But managers tend to make some common mistakes, which makes attempts of conflict resolution ineffective.
Invalidating or ignoring work-related emotional aspects leads to a bigger problem in the future. This allows negative emotions to thrive, which leads to further resentment toward the upper management.
Managers have limited time to deal with individual problems, but leaders who possess emotional intelligence can easily neutralize emotional situations without promoting negative attitudes within the organization.
Here are some tips to pacify emotional situations in a tactful manner.
At times, being heard and acknowledged is all that a troubled employee needs. Employees may feel unrecognized and unappreciated for their effort and hard work.
Empathizing with employees lowers chances of emotional meltdown.
Use of words like, “I understand” or “I can relate”; it helps take the edge off a conflicting situation. You don’t need to agree with the employee; just empathize with their situation.
Divert employee’s attention from the negative aspect of the situation by focusing on the positives. This may sound too optimistic, but this is the only way to mitigate the negative emotions prevailing in an organization.
For example, an angry, stressful employee comes to you with a complaint about another department. Diffuse the anger by acknowledging his emotions and divert his attention by introducing a positive emotion.
Here is how to go about it, “I understand this situation puts you under a lot of stress, and I can say this, because I know how meticulous and result-oriented you are.”
Keep in mind; you can’t resolve every situation for your employee. So enable them to find effective solutions on their own.
You can hear them out, empathize, and make suggestion, but employees need to be the one who seek solutions and implement them to achieve desired results. For example, if an employee is stressed about their workload, suggest time-management techniques and reschedule their work. But the solution of this problem is totally dependent on the willingness of employee.
Instead of providing suggestions, ask them to provide solutions. This way, an employee will actively engage in the conflict resolution process.
Get expert advice from DFRIHR on workplace conflicts and solutions. We have enabled multiple organizations with our industry-specific employee conflict resolution strategies. Our consultation packages are designed to meet the needs of business owners, HR professionals, and managers.