If I had my time again, I would definitely study psychology, I have what I class as a healthy interest in understanding what makes us tick! I think that’s why I love being in HR so much, there’s new case studies all the time.
When it comes to understanding ourselves, well that’s a lifelong lesson in itself, and the same goes for understanding those around us too.
As HR or managers of people, we tend to be the ones that people come to with their issues (and in particular conflict issues in the workplace) and that’s why I think it’s important to arm ourselves with the following 3 strategies to help diffuse any conflict quickly and effectively.
1 – Respect: Now in many conflict situations, you’ll find that mutual respect has been lost somewhere along the line. Therefore, this is my number one priority. Re-establishing it may appear unattainable depending on the conflict, but it can be done! This can be established through body language, how you listen to each party (i.e. no interrupting etc!), your tone of voice and the language you choose.
2 – Listen: Not being heard properly can be the cause of many disputes in the workplace, and more so when certain personality types clash. As a line manager or HR professional, listening and hearing both sides are vital to the success of the resolution. By simply feeling like you’re being heard and understood, can diffuse any conflict quickly.
3 – Communication: The lack of effective communication can be at the root of many workplace disputes and so being as clear and concise as you can is crucial. Again, focusing on the words you use, your tone of voice and avoiding loaded questioning or words will be really helpful. Remember, communicate, communicate, communicate!!
Timing can also be crucial in resolving conflict, as I’ve mentioned before in other blogs. You really want to tackle any dispute or issue you spot immediately, to avoid it escalating into bigger problems for you, your team and those involved.