12 Tips for How to Approach Workplace Disputes

12 Tips for How to Approach Workplace Disputes

Workplace disputes cause frictions between workers and with management. They result in reduced productivity and take managements eye off the priorities of the business.

At the same time, they can be soul-destroying for the person making the complaint, and in the absolute worst-case scenario, can result in a suicide.

However, by taking some simple steps in the initial stages, any dispute in the workplace can be avoided or quickly resolved.

Here’s how to do that.

Tip 1 – Defining Behavior that is Acceptable

Have job descriptions that clearly define what is expected of them. Establish a chain of command to allow effective communication and make it known publicly what will and what will not be tolerated.

Tip 2 – Hit the Dispute Head-On

Find where potential disputes might appear and intervene before disputes start. When a dispute does occur, its impact can be minimized by quickly dealing with it.

Tip 3 – Act Immediately

Gather the proper information from all parties and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Tip 4 – Understand the WIIFM Factor

Understand each employee’s understanding of WIIFM (What’s in It for Me). By understanding what each employees’ goals are, you can more easily find obstacles which influence the dispute.

Tip 5 – The Importance Factor

Find the importance of the dispute and its impact on the business and staff.

It might be easier to avoid the dispute and let the affected staff have their way, thereby avoiding any dispute.

Tip 6 – Dispute should be viewed as an Opportunity

Disputes regularly create an opportunity for learning and teaching. Maybe the business or an employee could be doing something a separate way which would avoid conflict and any future disputes.

Tip 7 – Meet with all parties to the dispute individually to gather information, then bring them all together if that is proper.

Once everyone understands what the issues are, then you can move forward to resolve the problem, focusing on the most crucial factors.

Let everyone have a chance to speak, so all parties have a voice in the solution.

Tip 8 – Stay Calm, do a reality check and find the true obstacle

Don’t allow anger into the issue, when this occurs, individuals will only listen for items they can argue against. Focus on the key issues and try to find what is keeping anyone from agreeing to a solution?”

Tip 9 – Listen to understand and then speak out

Once you have heard the underlying interests of all parties by letting them speak so you can find workable solutions.

Let them vent, and when finished, you can start troubleshooting practical solutions.

Tip 10 – Accentuate the Positive

Find some common points between the persons involved in the dispute. It helps to be empathetic and say “I know what you are going through. I have had a comparable situation just recently. Let me see what I can do about this.” This normalizes the situation. It will help when they know someone else has been in their shoes. This will help to instantly calm that person.

Tip 11 – Attack the Problem and not the Person and be impartial

Rather than trying to judge who is right or wrong, focus on what is needed by the parties.

Avoid the blame game because that is not helpful. Keep the focus on what can be done by you as well as others to solving the problem and not make it worse.

Tip 12 – Focus on the Future and not on the Past

Approach the dispute as an exercise in problem solving and focus on the steps that can be adopted for resolving the problem. Whenever there is an issue that has a customer who is angry or an employee who is disgruntled, everyone is only interested in the solution.

Resolutions can usually be found for disputes whenever there is a sincere desire for resolving them. Success will depend on turning the other cheek, forgiveness, compromise, empathy, compassion, being an active listener, finding common ground, and service above self.

Where the dispute cannot successfully bring the two parties to an agreement, resolve the dispute by doing what is right, not by playing favorites.

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.