How to deal with clashing leaders in your workplace

varsha sarkar

August 25, 2023

2:20 pm

What is conflict management?

Conflict is dealt with by workers for almost three hours each week, and almost half of all employees have either witnessed or participated in conflict at work. Conflict management is the proactive activity of resolving conflicts to prevent disagreements from escalating. The goal is for different parties to work together and solve the problem in a way that makes each party feel heard and understood. Smart managers can learn to perfect conflict resolution techniques and tactics to maximise the benefits of conflict.

At work, resolving conflicts is a daily occurrence that can either boost or derail a leader’s, a team’s, or an organization’s momentum. When leaders let conflict develop rather than deal with it directly, the workplace may become poisonous. Conflict management can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the larger ecosystem in which the specific person or department causing the disagreement operates and how attempts to resolve the issue will affect that ecosystem. When you handle disagreement merely to promote and benefit your own agenda, you never know which other agendas may be impacted because there are so many competing ones at work.

Conflict with manager’s leadership style

Despite having the best of intentions, managers and their staff members might occasionally disagree. For instance, a manager with a type-A personality may unintentionally overwhelm an employee by assigning them unachievable targets. Another scenario is when a boss has a hands-off approach and a worker requests greater direction. Make sure everyone is aware of the ground rules and that the goal of the discussion is to collaborate on practical solutions.

For instance, if a worker feels overburdened by their responsibilities, ask them to create a spreadsheet of activities and expected completion dates. Weekly one-on-one meetings with the employee may be desired by the manager. This way, the management and the direct reportees can jointly analyse the workload and come up with strategies for delegating or streamlining tasks.

Unfortunately, managers frequently create fictitious, unstable environments to uphold order at work. This is what happens when your primary concern is preserving your good name, or avoiding being put in a situation where your lack of leadership skills might be shown.

Some people you can work through conflict with, whilst others are either too self-righteous, too afraid to admit their drawbacks, or simply overcome by their own anxieties to even acknowledge the tension, much less work through it.  

Clash of personalities

Everyone is unique, but there are instances when working with people who have challenging or unpleasant personalities is very challenging. Most of the time, a single inappropriate or challenging episode does not adequately represent a person and calls for compassion and empathy. One of the finest conflict resolution strategies when personalities collide at work is to resolve the issue promptly and amicably before it festers.

If you do not know the boundaries and restrictions of your staff, conflict might escalate into something much more difficult to handle. You must be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of handling conflicts within the confines of each of your employees since everyone handles conflict in a different way.

By carefully observing people, you may help them understand when they are prone to stepping over the line; you can also spot behavioural patterns that seem to inspire particular attitudes, cause mental shifts, or show a lack of self-awareness. This can be achieved by holding regular coaching sessions in which you can start to establish precedent and reaffirm performance standards for each of your staff. This enables you to not only identify their conflict boundaries but, more crucially, to set guidelines that will aid in averting conflict.

It is crucial that neither disputing team member feels like you are on their side. It is beneficial to let both sides know that you are keeping impartial while seeking a resolution. They can develop trust when attempting to resolve their disagreement if you let them know that you seek a solution that benefits both parties.

varsha sarkar

August 25, 2023

2:20 pm

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