At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Define workplace conflict
- Describe positive and negative aspects of workplace conflict
- Identify why resolving conflicts is important
- Define the SLOW method of conflict resolution
- Describe the importance of looking at a conflict from different perspectives
- Describe different ways people communicate
- List tips for resolving problems face-to-face with a coworker
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is workplace conflict?
Workplace conflict is typically a minor disagreement between coworkers that has escalated into something major.
Are there different types of major conflicts?
Yes, they include: verbal abuse, passive aggressive behavior, refusal to work together, withholding information from one another, and physical violence.
If I don't resolve the issue, will it impact my professional life?
Unresolved conflicts can lead to bigger long-term problems. These include, increased stress levels, decreased productivity, and lowered employee morale.
What is the SLOW method?
S - Step back from the conflict; L - Look at the problem from the other person's perspective; O - Organize a plan on how to proceed; W - Work together to resolve the problem.
Should I choose a specific way to approach someone I'm having a conflict with?
Yes, knowing how people communicate will help determine how to approach resolving the conflict. The three most common ways are: face-to-face, on the phone, and written through email or text message.
After resolving an issue, is there a way to avoid similar conflicts from happening in the future?
Have both party's involved come up and agree on future expectations so that this conflict doesn't reoccur. After agreeing on expectations, a documented email should be sent to each party summarizing what was agreed upon. This shows official documentation, and if necessary, can be referenced in the future.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Conflict is often thought of as a bad thing. However, a conflict can actually be an opportunity for employees to come together, solve work or personal problems, and then become a better, more unified team. A conflict can become a problem when it is ignored or goes unresolved. An unresolved conflict can lead to long-term tension and unhappiness among employees. For this reason, it is important to address workplace conflicts and try to resolve them as soon as they arise.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Grant Materials - https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-20835-10/module_1_c2.pptx
- Mind Tools – www.mindtools.com
- Mind Tools Communication Skills - http://www.mindtools.com/page8.html
- Mind Tools Articles - http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_81.htm
- Business Management Daily – www.businessmanagementdaily.com
- Human Resources - http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/human-resources#_
- Publication - http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/glp/25986/Workplace-Conflict-Resolution.html
- Forbes – www.forbes.com
- Forbes Articles - http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/