Conflict de-escalation at work is necessary whenever the risk of violence, harm, or damage to the people or property involved in a conflict is present.
It is also necessary when the conflict seems to be interfering with the productivity, morale, or well-being of the people in the workplace. De-escalation can help prevent a conflict from turning into a more serious or violent situation and can create an opportunity for dialogue and resolution.
De-escalation can also help maintain a positive workplace culture where people feel respected and heard. A good option to have employees prepared to step in and help put an end to a violent situation is to offer a de-escalation training workshop.
Tips to De-Escalate Conflicts at Work
Some examples of de-escalation techniques that can easily be applied are:
1. Listen Carefully
Listening carefully, understanding the problem, and demonstrating empathy. This can help the other person feel heard and validated, and reduce their frustration or anger.
2. Use Humor to Lighten the Mood
By introducing humor, you can help diffuse tension and create a positive rapport with the other person.
3. Lower Your Voice
When you lower your voice and speak slowly, both the other person and yourself can calm down, thus avoiding escalating the situation by shouting or screaming at each other.
4. Offer a Choice
This can help the other person feel empowered and respected, and encourage them to cooperate with you.
5. Ask Open-Ended Questions
This action can help the other person express their feelings and needs, and prove to them that you are interested in finding a solution.
6. Express Empathy and Apologize
Apologizing if appropriate can help the other person feel understood and acknowledged, and reduce their resentment or hostility.
7. Engage in Compassionate Listening
By displaying compassionate listening and communication skills, you show the other party that you are trying to understand their perspective and emotions while expressing your own feelings and needs respectfully.
8. Avoid Playing the Blame Game
Instead of accusing or criticizing the other person, focus on finding a solution that works for both parties. This will let them know that you are more interested in finding a solution than in proving a point.
9. See Both Sides
When you acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of each position, you can more easily try to find common ground or areas of agreement that will help put an end to the conflict at hand.
10. Take a Step Back
Sometimes, it helps to pause the conversation and calm down before continuing. If the other party is not willing to stop for a minute, you can ask for a mediator or a third party to help facilitate the dialogue and bring a solution closer.
11. Avoid Overgeneralizations
Stay away from words like “always” or “never” when describing the other person’s behavior or attitude. Be specific and factual about the issue at hand.
As you can see, there are many tips and techniques to de-escalate work-related conflicts and improve teamwork. By practicing some of them, you can help de-escalate conflict in many situations.