Advice that can be taken into account when dealing with a conflict

Regardless of the type of conflict that may arise, there are several guidelines that we can follow to try to solve it and at least not to make it worse.

Become aware of the conflict as soon as possible, as if we are not aware of it it will be impossible to mediate it and try to solve it. For this reason, there must be a fluid, straightforward and sincere communication between the different levels of society.

Problems are not usually solved alone, so if there is one among the staff, we must face reality and not expect it to resolve itself.

It acts quickly when faced with a problem, as it not only affects those directly involved but can also have repercussions on the rest of the organisation, favouring the positioning of its members and potentially creating a division within the organisation.

Isolates the conflict; disputes are best solved in private and avoid abruptly outsourcing the office. The antagonists should be brought together, with a mediator, allowing them to express their points of view calmly, without interruptions and once the differences are known, try to find common issues that will allow building up bridges.

When a problem occurs, it is important to remain calm and treat it well. Raising the tone of voice, verbal violence, and disrespect will make any future solution to the problem difficult.

Do not “kill the messenger”. “Kill the messenger” is a metaphorical phrase that refers to the act of blaming a person who brings bad news rather than the author of the information. If anger is unleashed on the one who uncovers a conflict, he or she will hardly warn of the problems he or she detects again.

It neutralises toxic workers, as their main mission is to create problems. The ultimate goal of these workers is to make issues themselves, to solve them and to “hang themselves” for having solved them.

A conflict is an opportunity to achieve a better solution. The word crisis in Japanese (危機=kiki) is composed of the characters危= “danger” and 機= “opportunity”. The Japanese always try to find some benefit in a crisis, and this is an excellent way to act in a labour conflict.

When there are two opposing positions, one or both of the parties must be willing to make some concession. Otherwise, the conflict will be difficult to resolve.

Practice active listening; if we have two ears and a mouth, it may be to hear more than to speak.  If you don’t show yourself capable of listening to others’ arguments, why should others listen to yours? Before trying to find a solution, you must know precisely where the problem lies.

There are different points of view, but sometimes they are just that, a different way of looking at things, others don’t have to see things the way you do. Sometimes problems are solved simply by accepting differences and deciding that these don’t have to be a reason for the dispute. 

Seeking and proposing possible solutions that satisfy both parties can solve the problem.

If the seriousness and importance of the problem require it, agreements reached to resolve the dispute can be put in writing.

Care should also be taken with workers who take advantage of the need for companies to seek solutions to problems, as they may create disputes to seek to improve their working conditions.

Once the problem has been solved, it is important not to give the matter further thought. In life, everything comes, everything passes, and everything changes, nothing remains constant, and problems usually have a solution.

Knowing the processes of emotions and affections that intervene in interpersonal relationships in the workplace; this knowledge undoubtedly helps to prevent work stress, improve the work climate, resolve conflicts and appropriately conduct negotiations. 

To know the procedures to be used to assess the psychological factors of the individual that can determine their location in the different company structures or in groups that are related to work (trade unions, public administration, etc.), as well as in negotiation and collective conflicts.

To be able to work in a team and in a committed way with the working group.

Know how to analyse the behaviour of individuals or groups in the work context and learn how to find alternative responses to the needs of individuals or groups.

Learn to establish priorities, goals and objectives of intervention in the work environment.

Knowing how to maintain a balance between organisational objectives and the integral development of human resources.Knowing the strategies to improve organisations from the perspective of human resource management.