One of the major causes of conflict in the workplace is when two colleagues have clashing personalities. We’ve all experienced that in life—when no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to successfully connect with a certain person. This can be a huge issue at work, when two people with personalities too different, or too similar, are forced to work together for a common goal and tension frequently arises.
Knowing how to handle these situations is crucial in order to maintain an enjoyable, efficient, and high quality work environment. Below are some ways to help you successfully resolve conflicts without real incident to encourage continued productivity:
• Maintain a hostile-free work zone. Encouraging a friendly work environment could be all that is required to avoid conflicts. If a conflict should arise, remain cordial, calm and friendly to help mitigate the issue. Most people, especially in a professional environment, are hesitant to cause conflict. However, if a conflict arises it’s helpful to be dealing with the issue in an overall positive environment, where negative attitudes won’t be fanning the flame.
• Investigate the root of the issue. Not always are conflicts going to be an issue of personality differences. Sometimes people can be perfectly friendly and amicable with each other until they’re put on the same project. Work styles vary wildly, and frustration may mount if two people are working in ways that they don’t believe suits them best.
• Record all conflicts for future reference. Keeping conflicts documented helps provide information should additional conflicts arise. You may be able to find a pattern that can shed some light on why an issue is reoccurring. If the conflicts are persistent, you could have to move an employee to a different area.
• Make sure that all relevant parties are in the loop. Conflicts should not be disregarded, but instead should be discussed and handled with all of the necessary people involved.
• Do not hesitate to address the issue with higher management. If you have truly exhausted all other options, and have recorded your progress in one way or another, then it may be time to share your findings with people who can help mediate an issue from a new perspective.
It’s not easy to predict when two personalities are going to clash in the workplace, but it can be easy to solve the problem or diffuse the situation. You will never be able to control everybody, all the time, but you can control how your company responds to conflict.