How to Create a Non-Confrontational Environment? | Leadership Tips

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Conflict is inevitable at work, at home, or personal life. Even the best couples you know have conflicts now and then. The workplace is not any different; the best team with the most communicative managers also has disputes constantly.

Suppose there’s no conflict between two or more people working together to achieve something. In that case, it means that they’re not passionate about the project they’re on.

People who are passionate about their relationships or work tend to disagree. This disagreement is normal as no two people, not twins, think or behave alike. We’re all different, and our thinking patterns and ideas also differ.

We may agree on two things but strongly disagree on the third. Apart from differences of opinion, conflicts can also arise in the workplace due to the poor attitude of a team member or the lazy attitude of a team member.

The problem usually lies in how these conflicts are handled. Do you bite your lips and keep mum? Or do you tell the person how you feel in a loud and aggressive tone? Suppose you’re a fan of the first method. In that case, you already know that you can’t keep mum forever, and followers of the aggressive can attest to its ineffectiveness or the bad blood it leaves.

In fact, applying any of the two methods is sure to breed resentments that will fester and impede whatever project the team is working on. So, how does one handle conflicts if we can’t shout at our opponent or keep quiet?

Disagreements should never be allowed to reach the level where it degenerates into insults and abuse. It is possible to have differing opinions from the other person and talk them out politely and respectfully. Applying civil discourse tips has proven to be crucial in managing most disagreements. It also promotes inclusion and equity in the workplace.

By using civil discourse and essential leadership tips, you ensure that your disagreements do not become confrontational and ruin the rapport among the team. These guidelines are also useful in managing a conflict so there would be no resentment. As a manager or leader of a team in the workplace, you should make these tips a habit and part of your management skill.

Active Listening

An important part of conflict resolution is active listening. Most times, we listen to our opponents with the intent to respond. We will focus on that one point we disagree with and start thinking of a better reply instead of actively listening to their whole point.

By looking for mistakes and the perfect response, we miss the areas in which we agree with them, and worse, we overlook everything else they say.

Suppose we listen actively to the speaker, understand their points, and politely give a response. In that case, the speaker will pay us the same courtesy, and even if we don’t agree, we’ll rest assured that there is no bad blood or resentment among us.

To listen actively, you have to pay full attention to the speaker, ask questions to clarify points you do not understand, and use nonverbal cues like eye contact and nodding of the head to indicate that they’re communicating.

Encourage Feedback

Even though a project has been finalized and settled, seeking feedback or conducting a project review is crucial. A project review will allow people to go through the points raised during the project timeline and allow them to address any communication issues encountered during the planning process.

To ensure that the feedback achieves its aim of analyzing the project and addressing misunderstandings encountered during the planning stage, leaders must ensure that it is a two-way communication and keep it civil and respectful. Remind everyone that we’re all working to achieve the same goal.

State Your Expectations

The best leaders always ensure that the person they’re communicating with understands what they expect of them. To achieve this, they ensure that the conversation is two-way communication. The receiver clearly understands what is expected of them, and the speaker communicates their expectations.

This can only be achieved with both teams listening actively and setting a specific, measurable, realistic timeline for achieving the goal.

However, before any of this could happen, the manager must ensure that the person being assigned the task can handle the project. Yes, it’s advisable to challenge your team members, but stretching them too far can lead to failure or muddling up the project.

Final Thoughts

We can only expect to build an environment where disagreements would be polite and non-confrontational if we put in the necessary work. Many colleagues and friends believe confrontation is the best way to handle disagreement. This sort of mindset, when displayed in the workplace, affects the harmony of a team.

Suppose we imbibe civil discourse guidelines and make the work environment equitable and inclusive. In that case, disagreements and conflicts would be politely resolved and not deteriorate to confrontation and abuse.

Last Updated on 4 months by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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