Work ethics teach us to be patient, professional, and cooperative at workplace. In this blog, let’s see how to avoid conflicting situations at workplace for better productivity and success.

work ethics

How to Avoid Conflict at Work?

Every day you’re involved in many situations of potential conflict. You constantly find yourself in settings in which your needs and views are not as same as other person’s. No two people are exactly alike, virtually every circumstance of your life falls into this category of experience. However, by practicing work ethics, you not only achieve productivity but organizational success as well.

In all these situations where your desires differ from someone else’s, there are three possible outcomes.  First one, you might be a “winner” of the situation. You get everything you have expected while other person gets nothing. In short, your viewpoints are getting accepted, so you win the situation.

However, there could be an exact reverse possibility; you could be “loser”. The other person’s objectives are met. Your views might not get accepted, and you lose the situation.

In the real world, the complete win of either party is very rare. Nobody will be a winner or loser, as most often the results fall somewhere in between. There is give and take and some form of compromise for both the parties. There are two aspects in this – one is to avoid conflicts and the second one how to deal with the conflict.

In any situation when you are about to start any conflict, remember the following points:

Take a while and think whether this fight will be beneficial for you or not. Will this end up with any productive solution? Ironically, we won’t get any positive outcome from the conflict.

  • Try to control your emotions and reactions; don’t get hyper or overreact.
  • Adopt good listening skills; listen carefully what other person/ party wants to say.
  • Always focus on flexibility and alternative solutions.
  • Think before you speak anything; have control on your tongue.
  • Unnecessary loud voice and shouts will make the situation worst.

Below are few guidelines to deal with conflicts:

Conflict is a reality in the workplace, and it’s essential that everybody should learn work ethics to deal with and resolve the issues before they escalate. When you are directly involved in any adverse situation, keep in mind that this is not a place where we prove who is right or wrong, good or bad. Lawyers and professional mediators can decide these questions.

Assertiveness over aggressiveness. A hostile conflicting environment is inherently harmful and unproductive. Our primary focus should be to assertively bring it to an end as quickly as fairly as possible. When you are one of the principals in conflict; some elements are always amenable to change, these are your thoughts, feelings and response. Even when another party seems entirely unwilling to change, you can still exert a positive influence by your proper reaction. Here you must choose assertiveness over aggressiveness.

Assess. Make an honest assessment of consequences/outcomes in a particular situation. In the case of business conflicts, when money and workplace issues are involved, everything else burns away quickly and becomes unsentimental. In a business environment, you may be shocked to realize how little personal feelings mean when push comes to shove.

Calm, please. It is strongly recommended to avoid pointing fingers, calling people by names, shouting and misbehaving. Don’t try to paint yourself as entirely blameless at the expense of the other party. This will only increase self-justification and defensiveness by another side. It’s much better to say “I am going to wait until you are finished talking “than” why you don’t stop talking already?”

Non-verbal speaks more. Non-verbal communication is also a significant part in conflict resolution. The maximum human interaction takes place through nonverbal communication. This includes facial expressions, gestures and body language in general. It can also include your choice of clothing. Try to remain calm and avoid defensive body language while solving a conflict to maintain work ethics.

To summarize the whole story about work ethics, here are the steps you can take to make the experience as pleasant and productive as possible.

  • Make an honest assessment of nuts and bolts of a situation.
  • Include your needs or views in an assessment
  • Avoid rhetoric that attacks the other; this will only create defensiveness in their response
  • Talk about your behaviour instead of someone else’s
  • Focus only on present and future. Don’t dig up past incidents
  • Watch your non-verbal body language. Avoid folding your arms as it’s a sign of defensiveness
  • No matter what the outcome is, end on a gracious note.