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Conflict can happen even in the most positive workplaces, and it is imperative that leaders understand how to handle a problem when it arises. Here are some strategies to use when a conflict inevitably occurs.

Leadership Should Create Open Communication.

Communication is the most important tool for both employers and employees. Nothing can be resolved if there isn’t clear communication. As a leader, make sure that your team feels comfortable coming to you with problems. Listen carefully and think through different scenarios before giving any feedback. Make sure that the time you choose to meet with the conflicting parties aligns with everyone’s schedule to ensure that no one feels rushed or put on the spot.

Focus on the Behavior, Not the Person.

When you can sit down and speak with the other person to address your conflict, be sure to focus on their behavior and not their personality. Instead of saying “When you do…” when speaking with them, say “When this happens…” You will come off as much less accusatory and hostile.

Listen Carefully

While it is important to let the other person know that there is a conflict between you two, it’s equally important to listen to what they have to say. Conflict works both ways, and they are likely to be just as annoyed with the situation as you are. They might bring up solutions to the problem that you might not have considered. It’s entirely possible that they aren’t aware that there is a problem. Once again, you’ll never come to an agreement unless you’re both willing to talk and listen to each other.

Come Up With a Solution

Once you’ve given your side of the story and listened to what the other person has to say, you can then come up with a solution to your problem that should hopefully smooth everything over. You should both agree on the reason for the conflict, and you should come up with a mutual agreement to solve your problem. As long as you both are civil and you’re willing to work together, everything should be fine between you two.

Don’t Be Afraid to Find a Mediator

If it turns out that you and your coworker cannot come to an agreement, don’t be afraid to find someone to mediate things between you two. This is likely to be a supervisor, but it can also be another coworker. In any case, a third perspective from someone who isn’t involved might be just what you need to solve your problem and keep working together without any more problems.