This is the third and final article in this three-part article series of Conflict, it’s effects on your health, and what to do about it.
In the previous article we talked about ways you can manage the effects of conflict, especially on your health and well-being.
However, resolving the cause of conflict may be a little more difficult, but here are some tips that could help:
Report it – approach your line manager or the person you report directly to and explain the situation in a calm, objective, non-emotional manner. Explain some of the negative effects that the conflict can have on the business itself, or is already having. Your superior should be able to advise you on whether he/she will handle the issue themselves or whether you should take it up with the HR department. But it is essential that you present the problem in the way that it will impact the company, its customers, and team morale.
Take the high road – If the higher-ups in the company do not see the necessity to resolve the conflict it may be a good idea to follow the old adage and “be the better person”. That means taking the initiative to resolve the conflict by discussing it directly with the other person involved. Note the use of the word “discussion” and not “confrontation”. Take the time, perhaps after some deep breathing exercises, to think about the situation objectively and even picturing yourself in the other person’s shoes. Then make a list of how you can constructively and positively approach the subject of your conflict and work out possible solutions. A good way to do this in a calm, neutral environment would be to invite the other person out for a cup of coffee after work or during your lunch break (if it’s long enough). If you take the right approach, remain calm and open to listening, and don’t let emotions overwhelm you and dictate your words, you may be able to sort the whole mess out quickly and even make a new friend. If however the other party is not open to your sincere effort, or causes the situation to escalate, then you can re-visit the managerial option with an added report on your efforts.
Studies have shown that properly managed conflict can actually benefit an organization when managers are adequately and correctly trained to handle conflicts and differences constructively. Successful resolution of conflict can also lead to enormously positive outcomes such as a better understanding of others, improved working relationships, better solutions to problems, and a higher performance in the team.
So at the end of the day, resolving the cause of conflict successfully has a lot of positive benefits and is much more beneficial than simply letting the situation continue to deteriorate. But a first-step effort will need to be made by someone first and this is usually where the biggest problem lies.
But if you can “be the better person”, set aside ego, and make a real effort to find a solution, then you find that resolving the cause of conflict will most certainly benefit you positively in one way or the other.