Conflicts inevitably happen in the workplaces and because they are unavoidable, we must learn to manage them and probably not in the manner in which Will Smith confronted Chris Rock in the Oscars Award 2022 as you have been seeing the videos circulating on social media. At MTI East Africa, from our experience in mediation training and consulting we know If conflicts are not resolved quickly, they can lead to shattered relationships, violence, community disagreements, and even death. As a professional mediator, learning how to manage these conflicts at an early stage is critical. The following are some tips to assist you in managing conflicts.
- Be open to conflict.
As a mediator it is important that you acknowledge conflicts as an inevitable component of any long-term relationship. Conflicts show that something needs to be changed and offers opportunities for growth, greater understanding, and better communication. The best way to resolve conflict is to bring it to the attention of the appropriate person.
- Act as a calming influence.
How conflict is handled can often exacerbate or alleviate an issue. It is important to act as a calming influence for both parties so that you can provide an objective or neutral point of view. This will also eventually lead to the formulation of a strategy for collaborating with the opposing party to obtain a resolution.
- Accept the fact that you will disagree.
Every individual has a distinct point of view and rarely agrees on every aspect. It isn’t important to be correct. When it comes to dispute resolution, seeking the “truth” can end up trapping you rather than liberating you. Consider the conflicting accounts of witnesses who all saw the same vehicle collision. Truth is subjective to one’s point of view.
- Pay attention to what is being said.
By listening actively you can be able to understand how you’re feeling, what the problem is, and how it’s affecting you.
- Examine the situation.
This will aid in the identification of the exact issue.
- Use neutral language as an example.
When people are in a fight, they use provocative language like profanity, name-calling, and exaggerations, which escalates the fight. Restate aggressive words in a more objective manner to assist the material become less emotionally charged and more relevant for future debates.
- Distinguish the person from the issue.
Rather than attaching bad feelings to the entire individual, consider the problem as a single conduct or combination of circumstances. Taking this method rather than deciding you “can’t stand” this person any longer makes the problem more manageable and hopeful. Read more on dealing with emotions during conflicts here
- Work together.
This necessitates that each person cease blaming others and take responsibility for the problem. Make a commitment to resolve the problem by working together and listening to each other.