In this article, we are going to cover all you need to know about business conflict and how to resolve it effectively. Let’s first review various conflict categories which are often inevitable.
Business conflicts can make your life difficult and can also be accompanied by a cost to both your business and your sanity. If you don’t deal with conflict in a professional manner, you run the risk of lawsuits, disgruntled staff, and a generally emotionally unpleasant atmosphere at your place of business.
When you are living the life of a business owner you will inevitably have to deal with a couple of disputes as well. Business life has its benefits but it does come at a cost when you have to meddle through messy conflicts and disputes.
In business or workplace settings various conflicts can arise and to handle them effectively, your organization needs to have a solid and comprehensive system of conflict management in place. Some organizations choose to ignore investing time or resources into conflict management under the assumption that it is not required.
However, not having an efficient conflict resolution process can lead to a drop in employee morale which affects productivity.
Dealing With Leadership Related Conflicts
When leadership is strong and effective, your organization and team will reflect it like a mirror, through increased productivity and growth. On the other hand, if your organization lacks efficient leadership it may be a harbinger of chaos and confusion among your team members and will affect everything in your business (and it will definitely not be pretty).
One of the most common causes of conflict occurs when you have not defined work roles properly. Imagine working on a project without having appropriate task-related responsibilities. In a situation like this, it is impossible for employees to avoid conflict because boundaries are quite blurred and are not defined at all.
One surefire way to present this chaotic situation is to be an ineffective leader and not delegate tasks. To prevent this type of situation, you need to keep your team updated with all the progress and task allocation to avoid any confusion.
Often the leadership style or strategies may not be working for all employees, therefore, it will be important for the leader to assess the requirements of his/her team and then act accordingly.
The problems with leadership do not end here. If you are a leader who is prone to micromanage everything and all employees, you will have a hard time managing your team because employees do not respond well to micromanagement. Micromanagement has also been found to lower productivity levels.
To build a constructive workplace, you need to have a structure and well-defined roles in place and trust your own judgment and decisions, without making the employees feel controlled.
What About Conflict of Interest?
This one scares everyone because the goals of your company may clash with the personal goals of a team member. This may mean that a team member is working towards achieving his/her goal at the expense of company interest. One of the problems is that such an issue is quite hard to identify.
One way to stay ahead of this situation is to use Conflict of Interest software that helps you identify potential instances beforehand. So, it’s vital you inculcate a spirit of professionalism and loyalty towards the organization because a conflict of interest can ruin everything and cost – particularly if your staff member is using company resources for their own ends.
Conflicts Due to Work Style Differences
These types of conflicts occur more often than business owners may like to admit and they are often ignored. Whether you like it or not, every employee will have a unique work style where some of your employees may be team players while others prefer working alone.
Naturally, when various work styles are combined, you are at a risk of facing several conflicts as well due to the differences in work preferences. You need to remember that there is no right or wrong work style, and as a leader or business owner you have to give a fair opportunity to each one of your team and try to understand them.
Once you understand your team well, you can use their strengths to maximize efficiency and productivity. Be a little flexible with your team and give each member the time to complete their assigned tasks according to their unique style.
Communication is The Key!
You must have heard it enough already that communication is one of the most important and non-negotiable factors in a business setting. With poor communication, your team structure may fall apart in no time. However, problems due to poor communication and the errors associated with it are quite common. With poor communication, you will have a frustrated team on your hands and you don’t need to be told what that can lead to!
How to Handle Business Conflicts?
Now that you are quite aware and perhaps overwhelmed after reading about so many business conflicts, you may be looking for some useful ways to overcome or handle the disputes effectively. The first thing that you need to do right away is to take a deep breath and understand that such rifts are quite common and very manageable in a business setting.
We have a few suggestions to help you with conflict management at your workplace.
To start with, you have to maintain a positive attitude toward conflicts. This may sound quite counterintuitive but it is important to understand that conflicts may not always necessarily be a bad thing. If you try to avoid a conflict it could end up only exaggerating them.
If your organization has a friendly environment that encourages the employees to resolve conflicts, your team will feel more comfortable. Try to have an open mode of communication in the organization so your employees are able to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
Your role as a leader has to be of a guide and you have to honor the opinions of your team members as well if you want to minimize the incidences of disputes.
Resolving conflicts may seem to be a daunting task but it is part and parcel of every business. Instead of running away from such disputes, you have to educate your employees on effective conflict resolution techniques and encourage them to work through their disputes. Conflict resolution is a dynamic learning process and you have to stay vigilant about managing it effectively.