Useful arguments: when does conflict at work move you on?

Useful arguments: when does conflict at work move you on?

Everyone's nerves go out at some point. This includes the workplace, where some colleagues' nerves literally run away with them. The clash of personalities puts the screws to the max and damages the whole team. When is it better to blow off steam and clear the air?

Mediators agree that there are both beneficial and harmful conflicts. The harmful ones are often the result of poor management decisions. But by addressing the problem appropriately, the leader will boost the spirit of the entire team and, as a bonus, increase his or her own credit.

Author: Michal Cemper

Estimate the emergence of conflict

Arguments arise from misunderstandings. Just a misunderstood reply to an email or a choice of the wrong words and the fire is on the roof.

But the seed of these situations often lies deeper than that. Whether it's an unclear division of authority or unclear feedback, sooner or later the problem bubbles up. And it's up to the supervisor to handle the situation. 

The supervisor's main role is to uncover the root of the tension and monitor it. But it doesn't always pay to cajole all parties involved. Sometimes it's just better if the hotheads speak up.

Conflict as the key to success

Employees in companies often undergo training on conflict-free behaviour. This creates a sunny atmosphere with a shadow of fear hovering over it. People do everything they can to avoid exchanging views, resulting in frustration and emotive behaviour.

For many, running away from confrontation is running away from danger. We are afraid of expressing our own opinions because we are afraid of confronting others. However, healthy discussion is based on differing ideas and allows you to move out of your seat and achieve better results.

Anger and argument will often result in a reversal, after which the atmosphere will relax. People will have their say and the air will clear. The role of the leader is important to correctly gauge the situation and moderate the process.

How to resolve conflicts?

Psychologists distinguish two types of conflict resolution - emotional and cognitive. In the former, we stray into the personal level and not infrequently resort to insults. Angry door slamming will get you nowhere.

During cognitive resolution, rationality and concrete reproaches speak. This creates space for discussion and the proposal of solutions. Thus, one argument clears the air and reconciliation between colleagues occurs during the argument. 

Whether you are a mediator or a direct participant in an argument, always revolve around the merits of the matter. Avoid personal innuendos and insults to the other party. Focus on the facts that will steer the discussion in the right direction. In the end, you will find that you are not arguing, but discussing.                                                                

A quarrel is like a complaint

As a manager, view conflict in the workplace as feedback. You've overlooked something and your subordinates are letting you know by being mutually hostile. And remember that, just as in the case of handling a complaint, conflict creates an opportunity to strengthen your role and establish better relationships.