By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina
Conflict may arise in the workplace just like in our personal lives. How we deal with them is important. This week I will share five tips for addressing conflict.
#1 Conflict is a normal part of life Remember we all encounter conflict from time to time. Ignoring it will not solve anything, so we need to be prepared to handle it.
#2 Listen and #3 Talk I combine these because both parties will have concerns to be addressed. Both will want to talk and be heard – and need to listen attentively.
When you speak, state your point of view regarding behaviors and events rather than the other person. Listen carefully to the other person’s view without interrupting them. Try to repeat back to them what you are hearing so they know you understand their viewpoint.
Once you have both described the issue, it is time to offer what change you would like to see. Stay away from talking about personalities; stick to behaviors and actions.
#4 Look for common ground and seek agreement Understanding someone’s “why” is important. They may not be aware that what they are doing causes issues. Try to focus on what you can agree instead of only disagreements.
#5 Apologize and forgive The other person may not be fully responsible for the conflict. If you find yourself at fault, offer a sincere apology and work to make it right.
Forgiveness is as much for you as the other person. Holding grudges takes too much energy and efforts; let it go. Forgiving is one of the most liberating choices we can make. It can take time, and is worth the work.
We live in a diverse community with lots of different personalities, viewpoints and ways of doing things. We all need forgiveness and to forgive.