Every office has its arguments, disputes and conflicts – but there are several steps that HR can implement which have been proven to significantly reduce the possibility of a colleague-on-colleague fight.
Author and self-help guru Kul Mahay believes that “a happy workplace is a productive workplace”, and has given his tips on how best to avoid arguments and diffuse tension at work. A former police officer himself, he advocates resolving conflicts before they turn into something more sinister.
He explains: “When we hear the word conflict, we can’t help but feel some level of trepidation or apprehension. After all, none of us enjoy any kind of confrontation. But to expect to go through life without any kind of conflict is simply not realistic.
“Some level of conflict has to be expected in all areas of our lives. It is through these disagreements and misunderstandings that we grow and learn.
“Conflict in the workplace is not a rare occurrence, but the sad thing is that the vast majority of conflict could easily be resolved if all parties were to adopt certain strategies from the outset.”
Mahay’s top 10 tips can be found below...
1. Learn to breathe
“When you suddenly find yourself in a situation that fills you with emotion, get yourself into the practice of taking some deep breaths and counting to ten slowly,” explains Mahay. “This will allow your conscious mind to kick in and think through the situation and respond more objectively.”
2. Everyone has something to say
“Some people use aggression as a method to silence their ‘opponents’ during conflict. While it might silence one party, they will more likely harbour resentment or lose respect for the other. During every conflict, it is important to remember that everyone is allowed an equal opportunity to voice his or her opinions.”
3. Choose the time and place
“If there is tension between you and a colleague, choose a certain time and place where you can have a conversation with them about the issue that has upset you. This will ensure that when it comes to seeking a resolution, it is not tarnished by built-up resentment on both sides.”