There are many unpredictable things that occur in the world of business. If variety is the spice of life, then leaders know how spicy each day can be. Every day, there is the potential for something to come up and disrupt daily proceedings. While these variables can throw you for a loop, it is possible to get everybody back on their feet and back to work. Successful business leaders know how to spot and address these problem areas, but unfortunately, not everything can be avoided.
Businesses will encounter conflict – this is not unpredictable, though the causes and issues may vary widely. Conflict is inevitable when people work together. No two personalities or work styles are identical or cohesive, and it's important to recognize that. There are countless reasons why clashes occur and they need to be handled swiftly and carefully with healthy communication to attempt workplace harmony, for however long it may last.
How does conflict not arise?
As previously stated, there are myriad reasons for why conflict rears its ugly head in the workplace, but it's important to note that not all conflicts can be boiled down to one specific issue: the clash of personalities. Many people take the easy path and blame personality differences for the main reason of many issues. It can be easy to pinpoint the source by simply citing a typology ("Oh, she's an ENFP and that's why we don't get along") but problems usually arise from more complex causes and are rarely so easy to solve.
As the Harvard Business Review reported, hundreds of enterprises rely on personality assessment for coaching, conflict resolution, team building, etc., but all that does is reduce people down to a set of traits instead of acknowledging each one is a complex and versatile human. Blaming "hypothetical or irrelevant causes of conflict," noted HBR, might be easy to jump to but does not actually help remedy the situation at hand. Taking a look at the dynamics of the situation, rather than pointing fingers at the personalities of the people involved, will shed more light on the issue than covering it up with a typology Band-Aid.
The worst thing for conflict
Rarely is conflict a pleasant thing to happen – people take sides and cast blame, and productivity comes to a halt – but there is something worse than a workplace war. Not dealing with a stressful situation or leaving it half resolved is far worse than having a proper sit-down and getting everything out on the table. Entrepreneur asserted that avoiding the issue altogether is an easy short-term solution, but no problem is going to magically fix itself.
Hoping that the problems will dissipate is a one-way trip to disappointment. Leaving the issue be, whatever it might entail, will only make it grow and fester, and it could eventually harm the business as a whole. Addressing problems in a safe and professional setting might feel awkward, but it will clear the air so everybody can get back to work.
If business leaders feel they are ill-equipped to handle conflict resolution, there are training seminars that can assist with that endeavor. Not only are these a smart idea for optimizing employee relations, but they may help keep the business out of the red instead of seeing red.