10 Steps To A Beating Workplace Conflict

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” Benjamin Franklin once said. If he were here today, however, he undoubtedly would include workplace conflict among life’s certainties.

The symptoms of conflict are easy to recognize: Motivation drops; fewer people volunteer to take on new tasks; and, there is little employee input at team meetings or briefings. There are behavior changes and productivity falls. More people take sick days, and responses to staff attitude surveys or questionnaires indicate underlying dissatisfaction.

    In her session “A Guide to Managing Conflict and Building Personal Resilience” at the 2016 AFP Toronto Congress, Helena Sharpstone, MInstF, MCIPD, director of Sharpstone Skinner Ltd. in the U.K., offered 10 ways to develop resilience in a difficult work environment:

  1. Develop a positive self-image. Resilient people think well of themselves and see themselves in a positive way.
  2. Focus on building and maintaining relationships—family, friends and colleagues are a great source of support when crises occur.
  3. Show appreciation. Being able to focus on the good things in your life and not dwell on problems will keep you in a positive mind-set and help you to be more effective.
  4. See the good. Resilient people tend to see stressful events or crises as temporary or even as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as unbearable problems.
  5. Be proactive. Resilient people feel they have some measure of control in any situation and take responsibility and take effective action to change things.
  6. Accept circumstances that cannot be changed.
  7. Develop goals and take appropriate action to achieve them. Having a sense of where you are going is important.
  8. Take a long-term view and keep in mind a broader context. When seen from a bird’s-eye perspective, problems tend to become less important.
  9. Be optimistic and maintain a hopeful outlook.
  10. Keep learning. Resilient people are determined to learn useful lessons from setbacks and problems. Looking back, you may realize that you learned the most from what seemed to be the most difficult of circumstances.