How to Mitigate Workplace Conflict

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on your team got along with everyone else all the time? Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable in any workplace. And though it is inevitable, it should not be ignored. Most times, co-workers can work things out themselves, but if a conflict is left unresolved, it can negatively impact morale and productivity. Here are strategies you can use to mitigate conflict and restore harmony.

Understand the Situation

Conflicts are rarely black and white and there are three sides to every story. One party’s version, the second party’s version, and the truth. Before stepping in, try to gather as much objective information as possible to understand exactly what is going on.

Facilitate a Conversation

Conflicts are best resolved when both parties work it out between themselves. Manager involvement isn’t always necessary. Gather the conflicting parties together and have a conversation in which they work towards a resolution on their own, without your involvement.

Focus on the Problem, Not the People

If you must get involved, keep all conversations focused on the problem at hand rather than the personalities involved. If the conflict involves someone who can be difficult to deal with, it’s easy to write them off – but it doesn’t mean they don’t have a legitimate issue. Remove personal feelings and try to develop a solution to the problem without getting personal.

Establish Guidelines

Set ground rules for the conversation – each person speaks and each person listens, language must be respectful, and each person must make an attempt to see the other individual’s point of view. If someone steps outside the guidelines, remind them of the rules and refocus the conversation.

Help Them Achieve a Resolution

Don’t make demands of the conflicting parties. Have each person state what they want from the conversation and guide them towards a resolution that makes each person feel like they gave a little and they got a little. If the parties can’t reach a resolution, you may have to step in and provide a definitive decision.

Know When to Call HR

There are some conflicts that are simply too big for a manager to handle alone. It’s time to reach out to HR if:

  • Someone accuses a co-worker of harassment or making threats;
  • One of the parties involved threatens to quit;
  • The disagreement has deteriorated to the point of personal attacks; or
  • Productivity and morale of the entire team are being negatively impacted.

What to Do When Someone Leaves

Sometimes, conflict can get so bad that one person ends up leaving – or is let go. If you are looking for impactful sales and marketing pros for your ag business who will be valuable members of the team, contact the expert agriculture recruiters at Morris Bixby today.


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