Key Communication Rules for Conflict Resolution

  • Create and Maintain a Supportive Atmosphere
    Try to see things from the employees’ perspective. You must both take the time to listen attentively to what each other has to say, and find out what it is the other person needs.
  • Be Confident
    State the problem as you understand it. Voice your needs clearly while still remaining open to what others have to say and what their needs may be.
  • Listen Actively
    Focus on what the other person has to say. Make sure your body language is open and receptive. Know when to be silent, let the other person finish completely. Try not to focus on your arguments while the other person is speaking. To clarify what he or she is saying, try summarizing or paraphrasing. This way you’ll ensure a better understanding of his or her point of view.
  • Probe for More Information
    Ask questions to drill down deeper into what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification in a way that will foster open dialogue. Discuss your differences openly. This way you may reveal an underlying issue or the true source of the problem.
  • Look for Non-verbal Clues
    The other person is speaking to you non-verbally as well as verbally. Be aware of his or her gestures, tone of voice, nervous habits, etc. Work on fine-tuning your ability to read non-verbal clues; as a manager, you may have to pick up on the subtle signs and respond to them.
  • Seek Common Ground
    When confronted with two opposing views, inquire about the underlying values and if appropriate, integrate the two conflicting positions rather than demand one of the parties to change his or her view.

Labour and Union Relations

It takes two; two to make and two to break. We’ve heard this applied time and time again to our personal lives although it could not be truer for the Management and Union relationship.

The ability for labour relations to be successful heavily depends on both parties having a strong relationship to rely on when things get dicey.

With a strong foundation, both parties can express their interest in an environment that allows for disagreement while still maintaining a mutual respect. Now if we could only apply that to our personal lives…..hmm.

4 Tips to Reduce Workplace Conflict

Conflict can ruin employee potential, production, and well being.

Conflict can cause enormous headaches for managers and has a negative impact on the bottom line.

Conflict is difficult to manage and makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

How then can we deal with it ?

Step One:

Determine what your employees want from a work environment?  That’s right, ask questions!

  • Forget exit surveys; why do people stay?
  • What do you want from your work environment?
Step Two:
Talk about people’s differences amongst your team.  What makes your team great?  What does each person bring to the team? Acknowledging differences will help to alleviate tension.
Step Three:
Develop an action plan specific to your team.  You now know the strengths and areas of opportunity for your team; so make a plan to use the strengths to overcome challenges.
Step Four:
Talk about conflict – do not let it fester.  When conflict arises – deal with it!  Having a dialogue early on in the disagreement is easier to do than after the conflict has persisted for some time.