5 Common Mistakes In Workplace Conflict Management

hr issuesConflicts in the workplace can quickly turn into serious HR issues when managed incorrectly. There are plenty of tips to successfully manage workplace disputes, but sometimes knowing what not to do is a more helpful learning tool. Keep a conflicts from transforming into major HR issues by knowing these common mistakes.

  1. Avoiding ConflictBoth within and outside of the workplace, the instinct of many people is to avoid dealing with the conflict. While this strategy can momentarily ease stress, the conflict will undoubtedly come to a boiling point and become unhealthy for all parties involved. When you have a workplace conflict with a fellow employee, it can disrupt your daily work life as well as that of everyone else in the company. It is much more effective to address a conflict and deal with it as soon as it arises.
  2. Forgetting To Actively ListenWhen you dismiss the concerns of the other person in the conflict, you will only make the situation worse. People want to feel heard and have their thoughts and feelings recognized. You don’t have to agree with them or immediately take action, but actively listening to what they have to say will move the process of conflict resolution along.
  3. Playing The Blame GameDeflecting blame and avoiding accountability in a dispute can quickly turn a conflict sour. When in the midst of a conflict, many people will avoid admitting any fault because they don’t want to weaken their credibility. They then tend to actively blame others to take the pressure off of themselves. In workplace mediation, no amount of blame should be placed on anyone so that everyone can work towards a resolution.
  4. Ignoring Differences In CommunicationAt times, HR issues arise between people who simply do not understand each other’s way of communicating. One employee may have a direct manner of speaking and view someone with a less direct method as manipulative. That less direct employee may perceive the other as rude and overly blunt. Once the people in conflict realize that the other person has a different method of communication, they can start to let go of assumptions about their behavior.
  5. Jumping To The DefenseA sure way to send conflict resolution into a downward spiral is by being defensive. It may seem natural to resolutely deny any wrongdoing and defend all aspects of your character, but this will not advance conflict resolution. Instead, those in conflict need to address each other’s complaints and demonstrate a willingness to understand the other’s perspective.

Basic conflict management classes or lessons are not given to 60% of employees. These classes can be invaluable in making employees aware of these common mistakes and teaching them very useful skills.