De-Escalation Techniques for Solving Workplace Conflict

By Karen L Edwards 06-15-2021
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

Workplace conflict can arise across many working environments and can lead to unmotivated staff and poor working relationships, both on and off the roof. The right de-escalation techniques can help defuse situations as well as foster more cohesive working relationships going forward.

What Causes Workplace Conflict?

Because everyone comes to work with their own thoughts, ideas, and values, workplace conflict is natural—it happens when employees disagree or experience tension in their relationships due to some sort of misalignment, either real or perceived.

That may look like:

  • Leadership conflict, such as when managers and employees fail to see eye-to-eye or disagree on a performance assessment.
  • Interdependency-based conflict stemming from a lack of cooperation between employees who rely on each other's work in order to complete their own.
  • Conflict stemming from differences in work styles, such as a team-oriented employee interacting with an independent employee.
  • Personality clashes, such as introverts and extroverts not aligning.
  • Cultural-based conflict, such as a lack of sensitivity to different practices or values.

How Should Teams Approach Workplace Conflict?

Often, the outcome of a conflict hinges more on how it's addressed than on the topic of the conflict itself. When conflicts do arise, arm yourself with practical de-escalation techniques:

1. Address the Conflict

Conflict isn't always a bad thing; not addressing it is. Sweeping situations under the rug often just exacerbates issues. Instead, help teams understand that healthy tensions can lead to new understandings and productivity that will help move the business forward.

Pinpoint healthier ways of approaching tense situations, such as taking a beat to think before responding, practicing compassionate listening, and breathing to remain calm.

2. Communicate

How you communicate as you de-escalate conflicts sets the tone for their resolution. Listen and ask questions, letting each team member share their viewpoint without interrupting or offering an opinion. When everyone gets their share of the discussion, team members are more likely to keep their cool and have a productive dialogue.

If you are directly involved in the conflict, try to remain open to new perspectives. Resist the urge to blame others and defend your position at the expense of hearing the other side. Be honest, but share your feelings respectfully as you reach an understanding.

3. Put Safety First

Talking it out in the moment doesn't always work. When tempers flare, you may need to take a pause and give everyone involved time to cool down. Follow the OODA model: observe the situation, orient yourself and others, decide what kind of conflict you're seeing, and act accordingly.

Consider scheduling a time for the parties involved to sit down with an unbiased third party, such as a human resources director, who can provide a safe environment to work through the situation.

Eliminating conflicts is nearly impossible, but fostering a workplace culture of compassion and empathy is not. When employees feel comfortable expressing concerns, teams can proactively address potential points of conflict—opening the door to faster innovation, higher retention, and stronger working relationships. Resolving conflict swiftly and with empathy helps everyone — at every role — do their best.

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
Taking care of your health and your home are two of the most important ways to support ourselves and our families. Amparo Sancen understands this—and she excels at helping others do just that. She grew up in Mexico watching her mom, who struggled with health issues, navigate medical appointments and doctor visits. This early exposure to the sometimes complicated medical world inspired Amparo to find a career that would allow her to help others. Healthcare was a natural fit, driving her to take a first-aid course when she was 13 years old. Once out of school, Amparo began studying nursing but then moved to Atlanta before she could complete those studies. There, she began working as a nursing assistant—until she learned more about the roofing industry, that is.
Taking on a new roofing project means collecting plenty of information before you even consider stepping foot in a roofing supply store. The key is to ask the right questions—and know how to find the answers you need.
In 2011, employees at the GAF Chester plant in Rock Hill, South Carolina had an idea to reduce waste being generated by the manufacturing facility. The initial idea has grown into a model of collaboration and innovation: reusing cardboard mat cores.
Introduction Wind design of roof systems can be confusing from an engineering perspective. Wind design can also be confusing because the International Building Code (IBC) provides specific requirements, but so does Factory Mutual (FM). If FM is specified, do the IBC requirements need to be followed? What is the wind-design strategy for FM-insured and non-FM-insured buildings? This blog will discuss the following:
Whether it's a minor roof repair or complete replacement, home improvement projects can be a big expense for homeowners. That's why it's so important for contractors to consider accepting credit card payments in addition to other flexible payment options they may offer.
Has a hurricane caused roof damage on your home? 2020 saw a record-breaking 30 named hurricanes, causing more than $51 billion in damages. Preparation can begin before any hint of a storm. Here's how to make a plan for your roof, and identify hurricane roof damage should you get hit by a storm.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.