by: Liz Centi

Conflicts are an inevitable part of life. Whenever you mix people together, you open up to the possibility of conflict. This is especially true in the workplace, where conflict can happen between employees or clients. Although they are bound to arise, when handled quickly and effectively, conflicts can be managed. Sometimes, they will work themselves out, but there may be a situation in which you need to get involved. Having a plan to handle them is key. 
Most importantly, do not let conflict fester. Make efforts to tackle the conflict as soon as it occurs. Handling the issue in a timely fashion is crucial to keeping morale and retention high. 
Next, find a quiet, safe place to talk with all parties involved and begin the conversation by agreeing on a common goal. Then try to get to the root of the problem. 
The most common cause of conflict is simply poor communication. Lack of clear communication can lead to great misunderstanding. Making sure there are good processes in place to ensure concise distribution and receipt of information will eliminate contention in the workplace right from the beginning. 
Diverse work styles can also bring about conflict. When generational and cultural differences are the root of those diverse styles, it can easily create feelings of unacceptance and disparity for the individuals involved. 
Personality Clashes and competition in the workplace (as with commission-driven employees can also be sources of conflict. Utilizing personality assessments and ironing out fair commission structures can be ways to stave off these problems before they occur. 
When discussing the conflict, be sure to ask a lot of questions and remain neutral. Actively listen to each response. Sometimes being heard and feeling validated is all a person needs to feel resolution. 
As you work through the issue, be sure to practice empathy. Reaching understanding of one another, even if you disagree, can go a long way. 
When dealing with conflict, understand that a person’s perception is their reality. You may not feel the same way about the issue, but their feelings are real and should not be dismissed. 
Once you have worked through the conflict, be committed to forgiving and moving on. Learn from the experience and put it in the past. 
Lastly, after giving it some time, follow up with all parties involved to ensure that they are as satisfied as possible with the outcome.


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