How employee conflicts occur?
Sometimes you suddenly quarrel with someone at work. Whether it will be the manager, a colleague, or even a person from another department, such incidents happen. The reason may be a minor misunderstanding or a long-standing resentment in your relationship. Whatever caused the situation, what can you do to reconnect? Is it possible to start over?
What the experts say about workplace conflicts
The positive attitude before resolving problematic relationships is vital, so know that can fix even some of the most strained bonds. Sometimes a negative relationship turned into a positive one can be stronger than any other. The bad news is that repairing a relationship requires serious effort on your part and the other side. Hard work is worth it, especially in a work environment where personal and collective productivity and success are at stake.
What are the factors that make or break relationships in the workplace?
Constructive relationships in the workplace are fundamental to the experience of employees. As a manager, you will be significantly less stressed when you and your colleagues have a stable relationship. Also, employee satisfaction increases when they feel in a friendly and cohesive environment at work. But both we and our relationship are complicated because:
- They consist of many factors that affect how employees feel about each other and at work.
- They are affected by just as many external irritants that affect people and the environment.
If you want to establish maximum control over the development of relationships in your company, improve yourself in these six areas.
Be loyal to each other to gain your mutual trust.
Relationships are rooted in trust, and without it, you have no foundation on which to grow them. The more confidence, the less stress. More energy, higher productivity, less illness, more commitment, and less fatigue. In the workplace, trust can take many forms:
- You feel tied to the ideas and contributions of others to the projects.
- You trust your colleagues and leaders that they can do their job well, even without supervision.
- You feel comfortable talking about successes and failures with the team.
- You want to share and receive honest and specific feedback when you seek them.
Maintain active communication with your co-workers.
Communication can build or destroy a relationship. Learn not only how to send a message, but also how to receive it and provide the necessary feedback. Perhaps, only half of the employees in your company have effective conversations. Communication is essential at all levels of the organisation, but individual conversations between managers and employees and employee to employee are a top priority and opportunities for productive communication. Do you hold regular individual meetings with the team? Maybe managers use this opportunity to improve engagement?
Cooperate with colleagues to get to know each other.
One way to analyse the level of relationship development in an organisation is to track the frequency and quality of collaboration in teams and between two people. Where people collaborate a lot, the level of analytical skills and collaborative problem solving are very high, as employees know their strengths and weaknesses and know the potential for merging their abilities.
Diversity can bring teammates together.
Progressive organisations offer diversity in the decor, the atmosphere, the working positions because, in this way, they can involve a large number of people based on similar interests, activities, experience. They know the benefits of unique perspectives and experiences and consciously work for a culture that embraces and encourages individual differences, giving priority to diversity. Ask yourself these questions to see if your company meets this feature:
- Do employees think their opinions are valued?
- Do they think that everyone is treated fairly?
- Do they feel accepted by their colleagues?
Encourage mutual respect in the workplace.
Respect is the most crucial factor contributing to employee job satisfaction, but people can feel hurt even if colleagues make an effort to respect them. This is because some perceive respect differently, but it always contains these essential elements of behaviour:
- Giving honest and regular feedback
- Treat people with politeness and kindness.
- Providing the tools and resources they need to do their job.
- Recognise employees for good performance
- Listen more when you are spoken to
Along with respect comes empathy and compassion. Compassion means having a genuine desire to help others and make them happy, and it all starts with empathy – to be able to put yourself in someone else’s place and empathise with his emotions. This is an excellent connection between management and employees! In a similar company:
- Employees are ready to put the well-being of their colleagues first.
- They want to get to know each other personally.
- Management gives priority to team building and team development activities.
- Employees support each other in good times and bad.
These things have a significant impact on work relationships, and you have to work and develop in that direction constantly. But what principles should every manager and employee have to nurture and maintain working relationships?
Principles of the manager: How to deal with a broken work relationship.
Develop your emotional intelligence.
For many people, the moments when they fail to control their emotions are the most severely damaging to their relationship. This can also happen impulsively when you are misunderstood, or when a failure occurs due to poor team member selection. If at some point, you feel emotionally confused and don’t know what to do, sit down and think, “Why do I feel this way? What caused this situation?” Suppose you can achieve these levels of emotional intelligence and observe emotional reactions to certain situations from the side. In that case, you have the opportunity to begin to understand what is happening inside you.
Always be ready to admit and apologise if you make a mistake.
If you have a dispute with a colleague, be prepared to admit your mistake, if you have made one. How to do it? Realise that you have reacted wrongly and then apologise to the person you may have offended. An apology in which you admit and accept your guilt should free you from remorse and sincerely try to correct yourself. This activity on your part will contribute a lot to the healing of the relationship. Never blame others and do not try to justify yourself. Such actions put in the light of a weak and insidious person. In most cases, to restore trust with a person is by giving the desired attitude. The other participant in the dispute wants and needs something that you do not provide with your behaviour. Think and talk to him about your relationship. It would be best if you found what is missing for your bond to be complete and healthy. Often these are subtle changes in the way you treat your colleague. We share with you a framework for healing an injured working relationship. This is where real change happens.
How to fix a broken workplace relationship?
Your relationships with colleagues can be a source of energy, inspiration, and happiness when they are strong, or they can fill you with frustration and harm the team and the organisation. The most important reason for managers and employees to be able to cope and recover from conflicts is people’s health. Through the following practices, you will understand how working relationships can be strengthened to avoid breakdowns and the process of restoring them in a colleague-colleague relationship.
Learn how to control your emotions
We mentioned at the beginning that violent emotions and the inability to control them could lead to failure. Even with small problems, we create tension between ourselves and others, which can cause us to withdraw to minimise emotional damage. Instead of pulling away, get rid of the tense emotional tone when you feel some tension. One way to do this is to:
- You awaken positive memories with your colleague from one of your shared moments.
- You remember that you have principles that include dealing with situations and maintaining peace and tranquillity.
- Think of a situation in which this colleague (s) have helped you, and say to yourself that you are now returning the favour by overcoming the vicissitudes of your relationship together.
Your goal is to create favourable conditions in which to discuss the situation without harming your relationship.
Be open and focus on the bright future of your relationship.
Acknowledge the tension created and admit to the problem, but immediately move on to your positive feelings about the present and future of the relationship. This is the perfect moment to offer time for emotional relaxation. If your colleague does not want or you do not have the opportunity for a physical time-out, try to change the subject, because this will reduce the stress. Once you accept the existence of a conflict and agree to go through this difficulty together, it is time to take action.
Open your mind and feel the desire to correct yourself.
Once you realise the problem, establish your roles, and know where you want to go, it’s time for an informal meeting. It is best to spend it outside the workplace, for example, in a bakery or a cosy cafe. In a more friendly and everyday environment, it is easier to communicate on personal topics. When you start your conversation, be with the best of intentions, no matter what happens. It is not one of the moments when you put someone in their place, but an opportunity for improvement.
Define and summarise what happened to your relationship in details.
Summarise what is happening in your relationship to find the missing link. Be sure that from the very beginning, your ego is within normal limits. You are not looking for the culprit or who is wrong and who is right. Imagine that the person against you is a guilty student, and you are the pedagogical advisor who will help him fix things together. This is phase three of the process, and here you should not diagnose (it is a problem you realised at the beginning), but focus on finding a cure.
Discuss the problem.
Each of the participants in the discussion has his interpretation of the problem refracted through his personal experience and points of view. It creates the need for a phase in which everyone shares their story about how they experienced the conflict and what they think the problem is. You will use everyone’s explanations as a basis for working together to gain a shared understanding of what happened. It would help if you addressed every negative aspect and interpretation; otherwise, you will not be able to recognise the pain you may have caused. The reason may be collective. Suppose one of you has not taken a small element of a project seriously and the other has not specified the priority of the task. In that case, you can consider how both of your actions have contributed to missing the deadline. Tip: Talk about ‘us’, not ‘you’ and ‘me’. Say ‘to us’, not ‘to me/you’. You build your relationship with this person; it is shared.
Prepare a general plan for the restoration of your employment.
Once you have both presented your opinions about the problem, agree on what each of you can change to move forward with a healthier and stronger relationship. Sometimes you may have to compromise and realise that you are different people with your teammate who may never like each other completely and reach a full agreement. In this case, compromises will circumvent the problems, but all this needs to be clarified to start with new forces ahead.
Everyone must take responsibility.
At the end of the process of re-establishing employment, each of the participants must commit to this relationship to work. No matter how you sign the agreement (orally, handshake), make sure that each party agrees with it, and take action with some action plan that holds both parties accountable. Consistency is what will lead you to success. To this end, you can schedule periodic meetings to see if you are progressing together on the path to recovery, but without straining yourself and others. A broken relationship is not fixed overnight. It will take time to rebuild trust and rebuild the relationship. Be patient and let things happen. The best thing you can do for yourself professionally and personally is to deal with any problem in workplace relationships actively. The relationships you build along the path of your career will ultimately affect your overall success.
When should you work to repair a relationship with colleagues?
This personal development methodology and framework for rebuilding the most damaged relationships will help you achieve complete success, but know that not all relationships need to be repaired. There are times when the best course of action is to stay away or at least find ways to get around unproductive relationships with colleagues. The most important is the fruitful outcome for both parties, and for this purpose sometimes you have to kiss the frog to make team.