Relationships can be complex in any setting, and it’s no different in the workplace. Even in the most peaceful work environments, conflict will inevitably arise. It’s important to remember that conflict is natural and not something to shy away from, necessarily. But how do you navigate conflict as an administrator?
Building adept conflict resolution skills can help you go far in the workplace and in life. Here’s how to successfully navigate conflict in an administrative role.
Before we discuss conflict resolution strategies, we must define what conflict resolution is and how to apply it. Conflict resolution is the process of guiding two or more disputing parties to a peaceful solution. As an administrator, you may be put in a leadership role to help coworkers remediate their conflict.
Workplace disputes happen all the time. The health of a work environment is measured by its ability to solve these disputes. No matter the size or severity of the issue, workplace conflicts must be resolved. This helps to prevent larger issues from forming. Immediate conflict resolution turns a mountain into a molehill, so to speak. Navigating conflict in a healthy way prevents further employee dissatisfaction.
As a mediator, you can help coworkers find easeful solutions to their disputes. This increases workplace satisfaction, improves productivity, and shows employees you care about their well-being.
Perhaps you’ve already been put in a scenario where you’ve had to solve a tricky workplace conflict. Or maybe you’re new to conflict resolution altogether. No matter where you are in your conflict resolution journey, brushing up on your skills is an ongoing practice. There’s no such thing as a perfect mediator, but with time, conflict resolution may become second nature.
Here are some great conflict resolution strategies to apply as an administrator. Follow these guidelines the next time a workplace disagreement occurs.
If an issue is brought to your attention, make sure you’ve collected all necessary information before proceeding. It’s likely that each party will bring a different perspective to the table.
Although it’s important to trust your coworkers at their word, allow each party to share their side of the story. This way, you can cultivate a clear understanding of the issue before meeting with the parties to talk.
Bring the opposing parties together in a contained, safe, and neutral setting. Give each party an ample amount of time to share their perspective. This way, each affected person will feel heard and understood. Guide the conversation toward a common understanding.
As a mediator, it’s important not to pick sides. Be an active listener, ask questions, and be curious about each perspective. Your role is to bring the opposing parties together through facilitated, open dialogue.
Once you’ve given each individual time to share, find a solution or a “meeting ground.” This is a place where both parties can begin to empathize and understand the other person’s perspective. Find a compromise or a fair solution to the issue at hand. Coming up with a fair solution may take time. In most cases, even facilitating healthy dialogue is enough to solve a conflict.
Don’t sweep the issue under the rug. Make sure to follow up with your team members to see if the conflict has been fully dealt with. Check in with the affected parties to ensure that their needs have been met.
If there are still lingering tensions, you can make necessary adjustments to the conflict resolution process.
ASAP is dedicated to serving administrative professionals on their career paths. With hundreds of training resources, you can dive head-first into becoming a master conflict resolutionist at work.
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