6 Key Communication Rules for Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a situation where the goals, objectives or actions of two parties are at odds and may impact negatively on the performance of the group. A conflict may be between employees, between employees and supervisors, or between employees and the client organization or its policies, broadly construed. A conflict may also include a complaint or concern on the part of the employee.

Conflict impacts a team’s productivity and working climate. Therefore, supervisors should always guide exchanges and clarify the situation when conflicts emerge. So what can you do, as a supervisor, when conflict arises? These 6 communication skills will help you resolve conflict.

  1. Create and Maintain a Supportive Atmosphere
    Try to see things from the employees’ perspective. You must both take the time to listen attentively to what each other has to say, and find out what it is the other person needs.
  2. Be Confident
    State the problem as you understand it. Voice your needs clearly while still remaining open to what others have to say and what their needs may be.
  3. Listen Actively
    Focus on what the other person has to say. Make sure your body language is open and receptive. Know when to be silent, let the other person finish completely. Try not to focus on your arguments while the other person is speaking. To clarify what he or she is saying, try summarizing or paraphrasing. This way you’ll ensure a better understanding of his or her point of view.
  4. Probe for More Information
    Ask questions to drill down deeper into what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification in a way that will foster open dialogue. Discuss your differences openly. This way you may reveal an underlying issue or the true source of the problem.
  5. Look for Non-verbal Clues
    The other person is speaking to you non-verbally as well as verbally. Be aware of his or her gestures, tone of voice, nervous habits, etc. Work on fine-tuning your ability to read non-verbal clues; as a manager, you may have to pick up on the subtle signs and respond to them.
  6. Seek Common Ground
    When confronted with two opposing views, inquire about the underlying values and if appropriate, integrate the two conflicting positions rather than demand one of the parties to change his or her view.

Newsletter Issue:
HR Microscope November 2014