Three Common Workplace Conflicts (And How To Resolve Them)
Conflicts at work can happen for many reasons. You may have a different working style than other people, there may be personality clashes or you may have an opposing perspective on a situation. Whatever the cause of the conflict, it should never be left unaddressed. Conflict that’s allowed to fester can lead to decreased productivity and increased frustration.
When considering how to approach workplace conflicts, it’s important to think about the nature of the disruptive relationship. Are you butting heads with a top performer, one of your peers or your boss? In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share some guidance from Marlene Chism, a consultant, speaker and author, on how you can resolve these common types of conflicts.
1. Conflict with a top performer: When a top performer is disruptive, Chism says it’s often justified because they’ve been over-valued for certain qualities. The reality of their behavior is what goes unnoticed. If you have a star salesperson who can’t seem to get along with you or anyone else, she suggests making behavior part of their performance. She warns that this cultural shift won’t happen without top leaders making a tough decision that’s written into policy. It takes some strategy to communicate it effectively.
2. Conflict with a peer: If you’re not getting along with a colleague, your team may be facing a lack of leadership clarity. Chism says this kind of conflict often arises when everyone sees themselves as a leader and they’re disagreeing on expectations. To overcome this kind of conflict, she says it’s important to define the group’s purpose and dynamics. When everyone is on the same page, it’s easier to course correct.
3. Conflict with a boss: Maybe your boss is a micromanager, disengaged or simply set in their ways. Whatever the issue, Chism says the problem is usually twofold: there’s a lack of clarity and a lack of personal boundaries. It’s up to you to decide your personal boundaries. What will you no longer tolerate or what kind of resolution will you request? Setting boundaries can be difficult, Chism says, especially with your boss. But it’s important to remember that you are not a door mat and you deserve respect.
Workplace strife can take a toll. If you’re dealing with tension, consider the ideas above to clear the air and get your team back on track.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Marlene Chism is a consultant, speaker and the author of From Conflict to Courage: How to Stop Avoiding and Start Leading. She is a recognized expert on the LinkedIn Global Learning platform.