Everyone who has ever worked inside an office is familiar with this – colleagues butting heads and locking horns. It’s also known as office politics. Because everyone in any given office doesn’t always agree and they seldom have the same personalities, it is inevitable for people to argue about something; and when an argument gets heated, you can bet some people will use this to their advantage. So how do you prevent conflicts in the office? The answer is fairly simple – open the lines of communication and make sure that everyone involved, including you, practices effective communication.
3 ways to Promote Effective Communication in the Workplace:
- Get Involved. It is very important for you and your company to get your hands dirty and deal with the problem yourself. The more involved you are, the more loyal employees you will be. They will be more grateful and will trust you more if you step down from your top floor office once in a while and engage with your employees through valuable conversation. They will appreciate your being hands on, because they can see you in action; and as they learn more about you, your employees will learn to turn to you when they encounter some hurdles with their work.
- Learn to Listen. The art of listening may be difficult to perfect; but once you learn the basics, you will learn to appreciate the message that your employees are trying to get across. You will also have a better understanding of where they are coming from and why they need you in the first place. As their boss, you will have a better grasp of what your employees need and will be able to help fix their problems and learn from them as you go along.
- Avoid Getting Emotional. Emotions tend to cloud judgment, so it’s best to leave emotions outside the office as much as possible. Logic cannot work properly when emotions are involved. Everyone has their own mindset and way of viewing the world; so make sure that, in order to avoid stepping on any toes, you get your message across in the most non-biased manner and try to treat the problem at hand as something that you can solve together with your employees.
Effective Communication Solves Conflicts
There are so many ways to communicate, that’s why there are so many conflicts brewing or waiting to happen every single day. Whether you are talking in person or through a VoIP phone service, there is bound to be some miscommunication. And when this builds up over time, it might erupt and turn into a very messy situation, something that you could have avoided if you had taken the time to listen from the very start. Active listening and effective communication do not just solve conflicts, they also prevent it. And whoever coined the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a genius, because sometimes situations of conflict that could have been avoided in the first place could take up so much time and resources – which would have been useful somewhere else had the conflict been avoided in the first place.
How to Keep the Peace
So the next time you are faced with a workplace conflict, ask yourself: “Is this something that we could have prevented?” and “What could I have done to help prevent this conflict?” As you try and resolve the conflict, try to listen to the parties involved, help them iron out their differences, and create measures that will prevent that kind of conflict from blowing up in your face in the future. Remember this every time you have to deal with conflict in the workplace – listening is crucial to the success of your business or team.