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Problem solving and conflict resolution is one of the most important professional skills you can have at your disposal throughout your career. It doesn’t matter if you are a manager or a team lead or an independent contributor. Conflict will inevitably arise, and it’s a sign of true leadership to be able to navigate and resolve conflict in a way that helps the team grow. Here are 6 things you can do to make conflict resolution something that you bring to the table.

Understand the Source of Conflict

Conflicts stem from one of three things: people, process, and problems. Everyone has a different personality type and can benefit from a different approach to handling issues and processes. Understanding the personalities on your team is a clear step in the right direction to help you resolve conflict quickly. Here are a few of the most common types of personalities conflicts you will run into in the workplace.

Different Work Styles

People always work in the different ways. There are some people who work quickly and others who are more motivated by a deadline. Everyone works in different ways and will focus on what and how they want to work. This can naturally lead to conflict when polarized personalities are made to work together. Keep that in mind when you are building your teams, and address any issues you encounter upfront to avoid frustrations later on.

Differences in Background

There are many differences that stem from individual backgrounds that can have a strong impact on work relationships. These differences can include gender, ethnicity, political views, religious background and so on.  We naturally see life from our own point of view, but an important work skill is the ability to work well with others of a different background than yourself. Encourage conflicting personalities to get to know each other better and find the commonalities that will help you all build a stronger team dynamic.

Attitude Differences

Everybody has the different attitude towards life. Many workers deal with attitudes of arrogance, cynicism, irritability, or the opposite end of the spectrum including optimism and cheerfulness. Negative attitudes tend to bring people down, so be mindful of the attitudes of the people you hire to work together. You will quickly find that toxic people will poison the general morale of the team. For temporary negativity, focus on resolving issues upfront to bring a more positive mindset to the group.

Handling Conflict as a Team

The best way to solve conflict is to work together and address issues upfront. In almost all cases of personality clash, avoidance will prolong and deepen the conflict. The best time to take action is when it first arises. As a leader, you need to seek first to understand and examine the issue at hand and provide solutions and support as necessary. Help employees create the healthy boundaries that will enable them to continue working together effectively in the future. Coach individuals in conflict resolution and help them address issues respectfully before they become conflicts.

Navigate Unconscious Bias

Many problems arise from stereotypes that exist in our subconscious and affect our behavior. Unconscious bias can be found in many conflict scenarios, and understanding how it influences behavior will help you navigate and resolve those issues. There are a variety of methods individuals can use to overcome unconscious bias, such as using structure to gauge success, measuring results, evaluating subtle messages, and holding everyone accountable, but the most important skill is being able to recognize it when it occurs. Learning how to recognize and act against unconscious bias can help alleviate issues of discrimination in the workplace, create stronger teams, limit microaggressions, and boost the overall morale of the workforce.

For more tips on building strong teams and navigating conflict resolution, connect with the hiring experts at Williams Industrial today.

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