Workplace conflict occurs when an employee’s established picture of the world collides with another – the opposite. If the employee believes that the head should wield a certain power, he will respect the strict leader. But a subordinate with a different point of view will decide that the chief has exceeded his authority…
Career and self-realization
One way or another, a labor conflict cannot be hushed up. But not all employees can talk about the problem directly: many are afraid that they will be fired for it, that they will have their wages reduced or their bonuses taken away. However, dealing with such difficulties is necessary if you want to work in a comfortable atmosphere.
Actions to be taken by the employee
If there is any kind of conflict, it is a good idea for the employee to try to establish a relationship with his superior. The main rule in doing so: never argue in public. It is better to talk privately, to discuss the problem and to present your own view of it.
How an employee should behave during a conflict
There are open conflicts when a manager scolds an employee in front of everyone. Most often this shows the incompetence of the supervisor. In this case, the employee should not give in to provocation and openly show that he is ready to smooth over sharp corners.
If there is a closed conflict between the manager and the employee, that is, tension is felt, but the exact reasons are unknown, it will be more difficult to solve it. It is necessarily necessary to have a direct conversation, to understand what the cause of the problem is, and to proceed from that.
One method of resolving a conflict issue is to turn to a third party who will help to eliminate the misunderstanding that has arisen. This person can be another employee, a psychologist or a person who is not interested in the benefit of one of the parties.
Note that it is important for the employee, in turn, to take the position of a listener. Not to make excuses, but simply to listen to the opinion of the supervisor. This will help to look at the conflict from a different perspective.
What to do if the boss picks on the personal qualities
It happens that the boss reacts emotionally to moments that are not directly related to the employee’s work. If the boss is adequate, he may say without aggression, “In our company everyone wears shirts, but you wear a T-shirt. Officially, we don’t have a dress code, but I’d like you to maintain the image of the team.
If the employee likes his job and wants to resolve the conflict, it won’t be difficult for him to change from a T-shirt to a shirt. But if this doesn’t happen, there can be a real war, where there is bound to be a winner and, of course, a loser. And more risks for the employee: he may lose his job. So always be prepared to negotiate.
How to communicate with different types of managers
If the boss is serious, likes to structure everything and appreciates being respected, it is best to say: “Mikhail Alexandrovich, I have completed all the tasks and now I would like to talk to you” – and move on to a dialogue.
The boss will understand that the subordinate is responsible not only for the work, but also for the conflict, wants to resolve it and is ready to listen to his boss.
In case your boss is authoritarian and does not like open insubordination, everything is quite simple: “said – done”. Quality performance of tasks without unnecessary disputes and questions is already a small guarantee that there will be no conflicts. Will have to communicate according to the scheme “I am the boss, you do it. On the other hand, he is unlikely to file unfounded claims.
When the boss is fighting for efficiency, he needs to show the results of his work, to fulfill the plan. It happens that the boss does not care what time an employee arrives, how he is dressed, etc., as long as he does his job well. Performance in this case also helps to avoid conflicts.
And sometimes the supervisor does not care about the product itself, but about how and how much the person works. Consequently, time and quality of workflow is the key to mutual understanding. If an employee realizes that he cannot or will not leave his position, he needs to learn how to work with his supervisor.
If the supervisor sees that in front of him an excellent specialist, whom he does not want to lose, then he will have an incentive to work on himself – to learn to understand that all people have different values. And the work you do perfectly will reduce the risks of someone not liking your T-shirt.
What a supervisor can do
How to identify workplace conflicts
Suggest that employees start an internal chat room (without management). Here they freely discuss what they can’t discuss at work. Anonymous surveys. They can be conducted, for example, in google forms. Ask the team to rate from 1 to 10 the salary, job duties, professionalism of the boss, the conditions in the office. Anonymously subordinates will be able to say more. Anonymous messaging. Once a month, employees can pass notes with current problems to the manager. His task is to think about how to solve them. Live communication. The supervisor sets aside time when employees can discuss organizational and everyday tasks with him. This way the level of understanding in the team will increase. It’s important that both the team and the management don’t create the illusion that everything is fine.
Who should do it
Ideally, the feedback from employees should be gathered by HR, if there is one. If not – the one who is responsible for the company’s internal policy. It can happen, for example, that the manager wants to know about the emotional state of his department.
Moreover, it is worth to involve psychologists into the process. They can help to determine whether the employees have accumulated aggression towards the boss or, conversely, the boss towards his subordinates.
For example, my student’s company has a psychologist with whom the employees share their problems. This, in turn, has the right to tell the bosses about the subjects of the conversations. This helps settle internal conflicts.