In the work environment there are often certain types of potentially conflicting circumstances.
In this article we are going to see some practical advice on how to solve conflicts at work in an appropriate way , so that these do not become a problem that threatens our continuity of work in that position.
8 tips for resolving labour conflicts
In the following lines we will see a list of practical suggestions on how to resolve conflicts at work and maintain a more adaptive work environment.
1. You don’t have to be friends with your co-workers
This first advice refers to the fact that labour relations do not necessarily have to transcend a personal friendship ; in some cases professionals try to force this situation, which results in incensed conflicts within the labour environment.
The ideal is to understand the difference between the different roles we play at certain times; when we are in our work environment, we are exercising a professional role that focuses on the fulfillment of our work activities. The treatment should be cordial, but the relationship should not pretend to be what it is not .
2. Work communication
One aspect that is quite positive in resolving conflicts at work is maintaining adequate communication with our colleagues, including our bosses . Keeping quiet when we don’t like something can result in major complications, since it favours the accumulation of problems in the dynamics of teamwork.
It is always best to express our views on certain situations that may be happening and are not to our liking, doing so in a polite way and without generating conflicts with our discourse (assertive communication).
3. Identifying conflict
We may feel uncomfortable in our work environment, but we do not know for sure why this climate of hostility exists.
When this happens, we should take the time to do an introspection exercise , so that we can find the cause of our discomfort by making a conscious evaluation of some personal aspects that we had not considered before.
4. Implement active listening
Regardless of the conflict we may have, or of our work environment, practicing active listening always helps to resolve conflicts . When we listen conscientiously to what others have to say, we are closer to finding solutions to conflicts.
We must not let emotions and impulses limit our ability to listen to others. Even though in some cases others may not be using correct language, it is best to control ourselves in the situation and interpret what the other person is trying to say.
5. Using trained mediators
In some circumstances it may be best to seek the help of a mediator who has the skills and character to provide support in the face of labour conflict. When you are able to recognise that you need help and seek it, conflicts become smaller.
We will not always be able to resolve all the conflictive situations that we encounter at work on our own. In some cases, it is best to be humble and ask for the collaboration of a colleague who is willing and able to help us.
6. Encourage practical thinking
Practical thinking is often very helpful in preventing labour conflicts from arising. People who use this type of thinking tend to move away from situations where they may be involved in enmity and hostility . Basically they do not get involved where it is not really necessary for them to participate.
It is not a question of being a limited person, but rather of better evaluating the situations in our work environment and determining where it is appropriate to get involved and where it is not.
7. Making good use of body language
Our body transmits our sensations in an often unconscious way; that is why we must learn to manage it correctly. It could happen that even though we are not expressing our discomfort in words, it can be evidenced in our body language.
It is a situation that usually favors conflict with other people, considering that others do not know what the reason for our body expression is and may think it has something to do with them.
8. Learning to think collectively
Although we are people with individualistic traits, within our work environment we must adapt ourselves to think in a broader context than that of our interests and particular needs.
In most cases, when you have a job, it is necessary to participate collectively in order to achieve the objectives set. Pretending that we can impose our needs over those of others will inevitably lead to uncomfortable situations at some point.
That is why the most appropriate thing to do is to get used to thinking collectively and understand that everyone has the right to a pleasant and functional working environment with possibilities to express themselves in a timely manner and be taken into account.
- Dahrendorf, R. (1996). Elements for a theory of social conflict. Madrid: Tecnos.
- Fisas, V. 1998. Culture of peace and conflict management. Barcelona: Icaria Editorial.