Conflicts – Personality clashes often cause it….

Where personality clashes exist within the workplace, coworkers are almost invariably aware of it.  They can read the body language, sense the anger, and are often openly called upon to take sides.

Conflicts rip through every team and wreak havoc on the unity and focus of team. It is critical to understand what causes conflicts and seek resolution as expeditiously and thoroughly as possible. The main cause of conflicts is personality. Sometimes, the personality conflicts are wrapped around viable issues like differences of opinion on how to best accomplish a task, what rules or regulations govern an operation, or what takes priority among multiple issues; too often conflicts are unresolved because of personalities rather than issues.

A single conflict between individuals of any level within the organization can have the effect of spreading a negative atmosphere throughout the entire group.  Questions of right or wrong and good or bad are soon eclipsed by the issue of ”What do I do now?”

One possible cause of personality clashes is prejudice.  Racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination have been with us longer than memory and often precipitate what on the surface appear to be personal differences. Flare-ups between or among co-workers may sound like pretty petty stuff; but they can have disastrous consequences in any shop or office. Personality clashes of ten distract from work routines undermine morale, jeopardize teamwork, threaten productivity and can erupt into dangerous and violent confrontations.

Below are some ways in which you can help resolve the problem.

1. Once you have asked the employee their side of the story, ask them to say it again.  Do not assume you’ve understood what the employee has told you.  Document each employee’s answers, putting such responses in front of them to ensure the list you’ve created is complete.  You may ask them ”Is this everything” or “Is there more?”

2.Whenever some conflict arises, don’t dismiss them as a matter of personal problem but try to look for some point that can prove to be helpful in resolving that conflict. Go beyond the personal problems and think for the team or organization, you’ll surely get some solution.
3. If the input you gathered about the problem seems anchored in vague generalizations and/or recriminations, you’re probably managing a case involving ”oil and water.”  In these matters, professional mediators or conciliators are the most likely sources for resolving the conflict.  Where the employee’s input of the situation point to specific job behaviors and/or incidents, you may be able to resolve the matter yourself.

4.You help you and your people to be far happier and far more productive when the skills to deal with any type of conflict in the workplace are learnt and mastered.

5.The beautiful thing is that this type of training is a gift that keeps on giving – not only in the workplace but into the wider community. Sadly most people never truly learn the art of resolving differences and turning them into successful conversations, which often traps them in a life of unhappiness and suffering.

6.Look to the work processes that bring the employees together in ways that spawn disagreement and see how they can be modified.  Perhaps the employees themselves can propose process changes that will go a long way toward resolving their own problems.  Asking each employee, ”Can you live with this?” and, ”Will this help?” may be the best you can do for now.

7.Most clashes happen with emails, Try to watch the tone in the emails and oral communication, written communication has higher risks of getting into wrong way so you have to be very careful while writing a mail especially when the receiver is a senior person of the organization.

It is always important to separate the person from the problem. Recognizing that the problem is a work issue, not a personal issue, can be the first step in addressing the conflict in a productive manner.

All in all, keep things professional. We are all different and this is the value of a team.

Leadership quote from William Wrigley:
“In business, when two people always agree, one of them is irrelevant.”

Conflicts, in and of themselves, are not problems, but rather contribute to the dynamism and viability of a team.