Conflict resolution is an art. That being said, there is a proper way to handle different kinds of conflict. In the workplace, where employees have diverse personalities, conflict is inevitable. For this reason, business executives should develop the skill of analyzing and resolving conflict. Here are five simple steps.
1. Know the root cause of the conflict. The likelihood that a conflict gets resolved increases when the cause of the problem is identified. Disputants can take time to air their sides of the story to allow the executive to understand the real situation.
2. Investigate beyond the situation. In many cases, conflicts arise beyond the circumstances of the situation. There might have been problems in the past between the parties that were not resolved. These unresolved issues can pile up, leading to stressful situations that lead to conflict.
3. Ask for possible solutions. Ask the disputants how they think the conflict can be resolved. The executive should be keen to listen, taking notice of verbal nuances and body language. The goal is to resolve the conflict, so the disputants will have to work together to put an end to the problem.
4. Identify the solution that each of the disputants is willing to support and be able to weigh the pros and cons of the possible solution. The solution should always be created from a management perspective.
5.Each one involved should agree to the solution. As mediator, the executive should seek the agreement of the disputants by getting them to shake each other’s hands and uphold the resolution.