3 Ways to Make the Dull Faces of Your Agitated Employees Glow Again

While life has things you can avoid, others such as conflicts are inevitable, especially in the workplace. According to most conflict resolution experts, you shouldn't react to a conflict but respond to it if you want your peace back. Though conflict is inevitable, combating it is optional. Your life is the sum of how you respond to the conflicts that come your way. Reacting to conflict makes it destructive while responding to it makes it constructive.

Will unresolved conflicts injure your business? Yes, they will! Unresolved conflicts in business negatively affect organisation profitability, employee productivity, individual mental health and team cohesion. You hide your intention to win if you are combative and aggressive when conflicts confront you, but you are in for a breakthrough if you are assertive. So what strategies should business owners and managers use to make the conflict resolution process successful? 

Act Fast

Don't let a conflict to linger but act fast to resolve it before it aggravates. Stubbornness, anger and resentment develop when conflict drags longer, making the resolution process difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Conflicting employees get more entrenched in their positions when a disagreement percolates. As a business owner or manager, get a professional conflict resolution expert to address the problem in a timely fashion if you can't do it yourself. The conflict resolution process should be meaningful and thorough, especially if it involves bullying and harassment allegations.

Offer Impartial Listening

A disagreement—no matter how negligible it looks—can become a big issue when listening is done with an agenda. Trust is a cardinal element that neutralises a conflict no matter how scorching or blazing it looks. Be neutral and let both parties feel that their emotions are properly understood and their grievances were properly heard. Most offended parties express their anger and frustrations in awkward ways, but you should encourage them to do so in a healthy manner. You won't resolve the conflict well before you understand its root cause.

Treat Confidentiality with Respect

Little disagreements burst and get bigger when confidentiality is compromised. Remember that the conflicts in your business have a hand in its image and reputation. Go to an isolated, secure place or room with the agitated parties and ask them to keep off watercolour chat or idle gossip throughout the conflict resolution process. Ask them not to resolve the disputes through emails or texts or disclose them to their fellow employees since this will only lead to misinterpretation and miscommunication. Voice tone and body language used during face-to-face conversation are vital when resolving conflicts.

Always appreciate conflicts as an opportunity to learn, enquire and solve a problem. Handle the dispute resolution process with a positive outcome in mind. Start by identifying the value of humanity between the conflicting parties. Remember, it's not about how "teething" the conflict is, but it's about how you approach it and how the involved parties respond to it.