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5 Steps For Defusing Workplace Drama And Staff Conflict Resolution

While employees may try to actively avoid drama in the workplace by focusing on their duties and staying clear of potential conflict, this is not an effective approach for employers. Instead of avoiding negativity and disagreements within teams, which, according to a 2013 article for management teams in medical settings published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery and available online courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), can lead to greater rates of employer turnover and dysfunctional teams, a more suitable attitude for employers and management personnel to adopt is to manage the situation correctly. 

Learn how to defuse workplace drama and implement staff conflict resolution, and see how a New York employer defense attorney from Schwab & Gasparini can help by calling their Syracuse office at (315) 422-1333, their Albany office at (518) 591-4664, or their White Plains or Hudson Valley office at (914) 304-4353.

What Is Workplace Drama and Staff Conflict Resolution?

Drama in the workplace can take several forms, but typically, it involves insubordination, power struggle, argument, or gossip. If an employee frequently has challenging conversations with coworkers, worries about making possible mistakes, has concerns about their office reputation, or feels the need to hide things from their superior, this likely indicates unhealthy drama occurring in that work environment. 

Staff conflict resolution refers to introducing ways of preventing drama in the workplace and stopping it from escalating into a more serious issue. Drama mitigation and effective staff conflict resolution techniques encourage greater rates of productivity among team members and higher individual job satisfaction.

What Is an Example of Drama at Work?

The following are examples of drama in the workplace. Any of these can reduce morale, collaboration, and productivity and make it more challenging to foster a work culture that encourages high performers to stay:

  • Spreading rumors
  • Deliberately excluding others from workplace activities
  • Taking sides at times of conflict
  • Emotionally lashing out
  • Complaining about perceived wrongs

What Are the 5 Strategies To Resolve Workplace Conflict?

Every workplace is different, so no solution is one size fits all. That said, the following approaches can help defuse conflicts across a wide variety of workplace settings.

Discuss the Conflict

Communication is the primary way of resolving a conflict. That said, communication geared toward resolving conflict should be constructive and respectful. Gather as much information as possible concerning the parties involved and discuss the conflict with each of them. To the extent possible, avoid making them feel attacked.

Consider All Perspectives

Naturally, each party thinks they are right regarding conflict, leading them to defend their position heavily and have little empathy for any other side. One way of moving past this kind of impasse is to ask each party to consider the other's perspective.

Identify Ideal Solutions

When management personnel propose a solution that only benefits one party, it is unlikely that both parties will agree to it. Instead, consider ideal resolutions for each individual involved and use this knowledge to craft a solution that seeks common ground.

Involve Another Party

Sometimes, it can be helpful to get help with resolving a conflict by bringing in a third party whom both parties trust and respect. Often, the company might have a specific HR professional who can act as an impartial mediator. This individual's role entails helping parties solve conflicts without doing it for them.

Move on

If all else fails, consider encouraging one party to help finally resolve the issue and allow everyone to move on by transferring this employee to another team, department, or office. Because employee transfer decisions can be delicate, consider contacting the experienced New York employer defense lawyers with Schwab & Gasparini to learn more about staff conflict resolution and discuss additional options for defusing workplace drama.

What Are the 5 Steps of the Conflict Resolution Process?

Below are the five steps of the conflict resolution procedure that can help settle workplace issues, identify what caused them, and prevent them from happening again:

  • Determine what caused the issue: Start by identifying the issue, get both sides of the argument, and develop a clear understanding of what caused the conflict. Try to remain unbiased regardless of the scenario and the individuals involved, and speak to each person separately rather than together.
  • Identify other problems: Next, go further by asking additional investigative questions to identify any other issues, events, or emotions that could prevent a resolution.
  • Set a joint goal: To do this, consider what the ideal outcome is for each party, attempt to build trust, and establish a common goal that also aligns with the business's interests.
  • Explore how to achieve this goal: Ask each party to consider alternative ways of settling the dispute, including the compromises they are willing to make.
  • Agree on the final outcome: The most challenging part of this process is to consider encouraging both parties to agree by highlighting how the solution can benefit them and the entire organization. Importantly, make the parties feel valued and ask them to contemplate this scenario and what the process taught them.

What Are the 5 A's of Conflict Resolution?

Below are the five A's of managing conflict:

  • Assessment: For the first step, each party gathers information related to the issue and lists the possible methods of handling it. They also highlight the main factors behind the conflict while determining each party's wants and the areas where compromising might be possible.
  • Acknowledgment: This involves enabling both parties to listen to each other's views, helping to develop the necessary empathy to solve the conflict. For this to work, the parties need to communicate openly rather than just merely responding to one another.
  • Attitude: The key element of this stage revolves around accepting different communication styles and avoiding stereotyping.
  • Action: This entails introducing the chosen method for handling the conflict. Each party assesses how the other behaves to identify potential issues. Both parties also maintain an awareness of their behavior and how they communicate while additionally staying aware of new problems and how to solve them productively.
  • Analysis: Here, all the parties determine which actions to take and why, and they regularly review the situation.

Contact a New York Employer Defense Attorney Today

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), due to human nature and the fact that individuals hail from different backgrounds and possess varied values, some conflict is inevitable at work. However, adopting effective practices for managing grievances among coworkers can help mitigate their impact and prevent more significant workplace issues. 

Understand more about best practices for defusing workplace drama and facilitating staff conflict resolution, and learn how a New York employer defense attorney can help companies with their legal issues by contacting Schwab & Gasparini's Syracuse office at (315) 422-1333, their Albany office at (518) 591-4664, or the firm's offices in White Plains or the Hudson Valley at (914) 304-4353.

Wed Nov 8 2023, 12:00am