How to Address Conflict at Work

Conflict resolution is often viewed as a negative. However, it can be positive if handled correctly. Work to gain mutual understanding between the conflicting parties. Here’s how! Address the Issue(s) – By addressing issues early, they can be stopped from becoming larger problems later.
Listen to Both Parties Separately and Unemotionally. Do this before bringing all the parties together. Listen to all sides of the story without picking sides. Let them know that the purpose of the meeting is to learn not to judge. Remain calm when addressing the problem and set your emotions aside. If you involve or state your feelings, you may escalate the situation.
Let Both Parties Speak on the Issue and Suggest Remedies. When you get them together, have each side share their thoughts to the other and have them each come up with a solution and/or a compromise. You want this to be a positive exchange rather than one that creates more tension. Express Ideas for Resolving the Problem. If a compromise isn’t coming easily, you can try suggesting ideas. It is better for them to come up with solutions on how they can resolve the issue but do have some ideas should theirs not be workable.
Reiterate the Agreed-Upon Solution. After there is an agreed-upon resolution to the conflict, have each member say how they have interpreted the solution and how they will implement it going forward.
Follow up immediately. Review what is decided and share it in an e-mail or text so that they have something in writing. It is good to do this to discourage any backtracking on the decision. Continue to Observe. After the conversation ends and a compromise is made, continue to observe to be sure that the solution is being implemented and to be aware if any other issues arise. If you see a problem, reconvene and repeat the process as soon as you can to prevent future conflicts from arising and to retain an overall positive workplace.