Anger Management At Workplace
- Amruta Bhaskar
- Jan 29, 2021
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Tension between people at work is natural – in large, diverse teams it’s unlikely that everyone will always agree and share the same goals. But an important part of teamwork is working around one another’s differences, not against them. When clashes occur, the cogs that are a company’s employees stop turning in synchronization, which slows or halts productivity.
Effective intervention from managers and supervisors ensures that the harm conflicts cause to relationships and productivity is minimal. It keeps relationships healthy, customers happy, and the business successful.
Conflict management is a vital skill that involves handling confrontations tactfully and constructively.
You aim to yield a positive result from disputes and disagreements that occur between people in the workplace; to learn from the experience and improve your business’ relationships or service as a result. And above all, your aim is to resolve the conflict in a way that respects everyone’s wants and needs.
So, what creates conflict in the workplace? Opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, ego, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, just someone having a bad day, etc. While the answer to the previous question would appear to lead to the conclusion that just about anything and everything creates conflict, the reality is that the root of most conflict is either born out of poor communication or the inability to control one’s emotions. Let’s examine these 2 major causes of conflict:
Communication: If you reflect upon conflicts you have encountered over the years, you’ll quickly recognize many of them resulted from a lack of information, poor information, no information, or misinformation. Let’s assume for a moment that you were lucky enough to have received good information, but didn’t know what to do with it…That is still a communication problem, which in turn can lead to conflict. Clear, concise, accurate, and timely communication of information will help to ease both the number and severity of conflicts.
Emotions: Another common mistake made in workplace communications which lead to conflict is letting emotions drive decisions. I have witnessed otherwise savvy executives place the need for emotional superiority ahead of achieving their mission (not that they always understood this at the time). Case in point - have you ever witnessed an employee throw a fit of rage and draw the regrettable line in the sand in the heat of the moment? If you have, what you watched was a person indulging their emotions rather than protecting their future.
The following tips will help to more effective handle conflicts in the workplace:
1. Define Acceptable Behavior:
You know what they say about assuming…Just having a definition for what constitutes acceptable behaviour is a positive step in avoiding conflict. Creating a framework for decisioning, using a published delegation of authority statement, encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management will all help avoid conflicts. Having clearly defined job descriptions so that people know what’s expected of them, and a well-articulated chain of command to allow for effective communication will also help avoid conflicts. Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won't be tolerated.
2. Hit Conflict Head-on:
While you can’t always prevent conflicts, it has been my experience that the secret to conflict resolution is in fact conflict prevention where possible. By actually seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion you will likely prevent certain conflicts from ever arising. If a conflict does flair up, you will likely minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly. Time spent identifying and understanding natural tensions will help to avoid unnecessary conflict.
3. Understanding the WIIFM Factor:
Understanding the other professionals WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) position is critical. It is essential to understand other’s motivations before weighing in. The way to avoid conflict is to help those around you achieve their objectives. If you approach conflict from the perspective of taking the action that will help others best achieve their goals you will find few obstacles will stand in your way with regard to resolving conflict.
4. The Importance Factor:
Pick your battles and avoid conflict for the sake of conflict. However, if the issue is important enough to create a conflict then it is surely important enough to resolve. If the issue, circumstance, or situation is important enough, and there is enough at stake, people will do what is necessary to open lines of communication and close positional and/or philosophical gaps.
5. View Conflict as Opportunity:
Hidden within virtually every conflict is the potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity. Where there is disagreement there is an inherent potential for growth and development. If you’re a CEO who doesn’t leverage conflict for team building and leadership development purposes you’re missing a great opportunity. Divergent positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in ways like minds can't even imagine. Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions.
Conflict Management reduces tensions and employees feel motivated to give their level best to the organizations. No one gains from conflicts. One should avoid fighting over petty issues and criticizing fellow employees at workplaces. Be a little more adjusting. You might be an extraordinary employee, but conflicts will earn you a bad name and you appear in the bad books of other employees. Conflict Management helps in the strengthening of the bond among the employees and everyone is ready to help each other. Relations improve and people feel motivated to work together and strive hard to give the best possible results. No one likes to carry tensions back home and feel neglected at the workplace. Attend office to work not to fight and carry tensions and anxiety. Transparency must be maintained at all levels for the smooth flow of information among the employees. One wrong information with any employee, all things get screwed up. Conflicts and disagreements act as a hindrance in the correct flow of information as employees tend to tamper important data, facts, figures and hide things from each other. The information never reaches in the correct and desired form as a result of conflict and eventually, the organization is at loss.