4 strategies to mediate work conflicts skilfully
We all know the relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un has been hostile. However, recent attitude changes by both parties, as well as the instrumental support and initiatives of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, have resulted in a history-making Trump-Kim summit, which will take place in Singapore. This summit is a first step to alleviating tension through an open and transparent dialogue, and there's much we can all learn from even just the fact that the meeting is planned to happen.
Trump and Kim are living proof that conflicts arise at work, which can at times put co-workers in very uncomfortable situations. Friction is bound to occur in stressful working environments and situations, but here are four ways you can mediate conflicts skillfully in the workplace
Resolving conflicts head-on
When workplace conflicts remain unresolved, they may eventually begin to affect your job performance. However, your priorities should always be in the best interest of your company, even if that means having to swallow your pride. Instead of letting the problem get under your skin and potentially jeoparadise our working relationship with the respective party, take the high road and talk through your issues. If the other party remains unreceptive, consider reaching out to both your direct superiors or HR department for mediation.
Finding common ground
Rather than fixating over the wedge that divides, consider looking for common ground that can help mend your troubled working relationship with a colleague. A good way to start is by identifying agreements, as well as setting boundaries for acceptable behaviour. This is particularly useful for issues that may have arisen through overstepping one's job scope and responsibility. If need the help of an objective mediator, consider involving help from higher management or HR to make any undefined job roles more official. It can also help to encourage more open communication from all parties.
View conflicts as opportunities
In every obstacle is a silver lining. Don't wait until your coworkers or employer pick up on the rising tension. So, remember that nobody is perfect and try to improve your actions. View the entire incident as a learning experience and take this opportunity to rise to the occasion of being mature and proactive. The ability to demonstrate restraint and empathy in light of a conflict is a fundamental quality required for leadership roles. By navigating this episode successfully, you might even put yourself on the radar as someone who is suitable for a promotion.
Mean it when you forgive others
As with the start of any toxic relationship, conflicts will never truly be resolved if they are constantly rehashed as ammunition for future arguments. Yes, that means even after apologies have been said or heard by the respective party. Don't trap yourself in a vicious cycle and let bygones be bygones, as you might otherwise gain a bad reputation among your coworkers for holding a grudge. Do not let a moment of pettiness undo all that progress in mending the relationship.