For the human resources professional, it is important to be able to identify conflict in the workplace and know how to quickly and effectively resolve the underlying issues in a positive way. Resolving conflict in a positive manner can lead to much-improved professional and personal relationships. Mastering a few fundamental conflict resolution skills can enable you to become a better leader, decision-maker, co-worker and friend.
Whether dealing with a disagreement between co-workers or breaking through a standstill in a job contract negotiation, conflict resolution is best approached through a deliberate process that considers the different conflict resolution styles of each participant. Done well, conflict resolution can save relationships, time and resources, while improving productivity and helping move projects forward toward completion.
In this phase, active listening skills are essential. Restate or paraphrase others’ positions to be sure you hear and understand them correctly.
An important conflict resolution tool, especially in a human resources setting, is the ability to go deeper than the surface to really get an understanding of an individual’s underlying needs, concerns and point of view. To do this effectively, be objective – not personal; and try to view your actions from the standpoint of the other person.
Here are four ways to effectively gather information:
Conflict resolution skills can only come into play when the true problem is identified. Be sure everyone agrees on what the problem is before moving forward. Remember that different roles, interests and conflict resolution styles can cause people to perceive problems very differently. Putting aside individual goals to come to a mutually agreeable and beneficial solution is an important step in conflict resolution.
Gathering the involved parties together for a brainstorming session not only helps to resolve the problem quickly, but it makes everyone feel like they are part of the solution. Here are a few tips for successful brainstorming:
By this point, it’s possible that all parties better understand each other’s positions and have resolved the conflict. If not, it may be necessary to step in and negotiate a mutually satisfying solution.
Negotiation is a strong conflict resolution skill that professionals can apply to countless situations throughout their careers. By learning effective negotiation skills, human resources professionals can quickly distinguish themselves not only as valuable HR professionals, but as true leaders.
Conflict is a natural part of life that can sometimes make its way into the workplace. As a member of the human resources team, it is your responsibility to help identify and resolve conflict within the workplace. By honing your skills in effective conflict resolution, you can help position yourself as a valuable leader in your organization.
To learn more about conflict resolution, human resource management and other vital business essentials, consider earning a Certificate in Business Essentials & HR Management online from the University of Florida. Participants will advance their functional knowledge and skills across the core business disciplines while gaining tactical expertise and in-depth understanding of the necessary human resource elements that today's organizations require.