Offices today are filled with diversity. Employees belong to different backgrounds, have been nurtured differently, have different value systems, different age groups, different gender types, different mind sets, different skills, different approaches, different opinions, different communication styles and different emotional set up. This means that each employee is different from one another in the organisation. Imagine the diversity in large organisations like Google, that have nearly 119k full time staff with other temporary employees and interns.
Does it seem possible to accommodate that number? Can you imagine the diversity that runs in these offices! Well, it does happen! Having a diverse work environment has both its positive and matters that need to be handled positively. While highly diverse workplaces are a hub for innovation and new ideas, they can also sometimes be a hub of conflicts situations among various employees.
Therefore, it is important that organisations take a step to teach their employees the techniques to embrace the diversity and lay importance on team play. Team work in any organisation, whether big or small is necessary. If there are differences among team members within a team, it will affect their performance, their fellow team member’s performance and the overall stress that these differences will create can result into serious consequences.
While if the team works together as one, there will be harmony within the team and better coordination of work which will in turn contribute to the better productivity of the team.
Conflicts at workplace can happen within teams, between teams, with managers, with the staff, with other departments over issues ranging from work, personal issues, remarks, behaviour, communication style, personal biases, indifference and others.
Conflict has become so common today that it becomes vital to learn conflict management techniques to resolve issues. Each one of us need to develop skills to resolve conflicts and manage them. Resolution of conflict is most important for each organisation because their end goal is to enhance organisational productivity while conflicts can be a hindrance to the common goal.
Here are some tips that can help you build a more harmonious workplace:
- Stay calm in times of conflict, do not say things aggressively. If you feel, the situation can aggravate into a bigger one, the best thing is to walk away at that moment. This does not mean that you are weak but it means that you choose to allow only positivity come your way. Don’t take things to your ego and just come back when you cool down.
- Listen not to reply back but to respond mindfully. Once you pay attention and try to understand the other’s point of view, things will automatically turn around. The situation that could have been a conflicting one may turn to a solution finding one.
- Focus on the problem and what’s affecting the situation, not the individual. When you focus on the individual, the problems keep on increasing. If you start to focus on the issue, problem solving tools will come up after deliberation.
- You must always think about the long term game. Do not dwell on what happened in the past, think about what is going to happen in the future. Think about your personal goals, align them with the organisation’s goals and then look at the issue. It will seem irrelevant now!
- Do not get into the blame game scenario. It will only make things worse because the problem will stay intact even after discussing it and everyone will be where they started.
- You have to choose which situations are important for you. You have a choice to make if you want to fight that person. You have to make a choice if that’s really worth your time or if it’s contributing to your growth. Always have a problem solving approach.
- Even when you have differences with someone, it is okay. Contact the concerned authority, share your problem choosing the right words and seek help to resolve the issue.
There are many other tools that can help organisations to better manage conflict. Many corporate trainers specialise in this field. The learning is, don’t feel ashamed to seek help, it will only help you grow.