Resolving conflicts at work

by Hector Tan (htan@sph.com.sg)
published on 30 November 2016

Managing confl­icts at work can be the hardest part of a manager's career.

 

Mr Jaric Pang, 44, a corporate trainer, said: “Confl­ict and disagreements will exist in every organisation. Managed properly, confl­icts can facilitate the healthy exchange of creativity and ideas.

“Confl­ict that is poorly managed can create an environment that is not conducive for work. It can lead to work dissatisfaction, absenteeism or increased employee turnover. ”

 

DON’T IGNORE IT

Con­flicts are usually a result of minor disagreements that were ignored when they first occurred.

“Strive to address disagreements immediately as any discontent or minor disagreement that is not addressed immediately tends to fester when ignored. These pent-up negative emotions can eventually escalate into emotional outbursts,” said Mr Pang.

 

BE OBJECTIVE

Make confl­ict resolution the priority rather than winning or "being right."

Maintaining and strengthening the relationship should always be your first priority. Focus on the present.

Mr Pang said: “Bringing up past issues is a sure way to aggravate any tensed situation. If you are holding onto past grudges and resentment then your ability to have an objective view of the current situation will be affected.

“Always look at the issue at hand and focus on rectifying it.”

 

LISTEN

Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint. Listening shows respect to the people who you are in disagreement with.

“People are more willing to hear what you have to say when you listen to them first. It helps bridge any misunderstandings and connect better with the other party,” said Mr Pang.

 

FORGIVE

Be willing to forgive as well. Mr Pang advised: “Resolving a con­flict is impossible if you are unwilling to forgive. Con­flict resolution lies in letting go of any anger and negative emotions, which are emotionally draining and unhealthy.”