The 3 Most Common Causes Of Workplace Conflict

Angry worker shouting at colleagueNo one wants to work be in a situation that is uncomfortable; unfortunately many of us are forced into this when there is conflict going on at our jobs.

Whether the conflict involves you, or simply others in your group, this can create chaos and a poor corporate culture.

Managers can try to prevent conflict from happening in the first place by recognising common causes of workplace conflict, and working to prevent them.

Uncertain Job Roles

While personal issues can definitely come up on the job, many employees end up arguing about job-related topics.

A big reason for this is uncertain job roles that do not make it clear as to which employee is responsible for what.

This uncertainty can lead to numerous employees each trying to dictate how a project should be handled, or the opposite, where each individual feels that they are not responsible for an important task.

To correct this, supervisors should create very specific job descriptions for each staff member, which will go a long way in prevent conflict about job responsibilities.

Treating Workers Unfairly

Managers are just regular people, and just like in other situations, they can consciously or unconsciously treat people differently.

Perhaps some employees are simply more pleasant to manage, while others are easier to give directions to; but no matter what the reason is, when leaders treat some employees differently from others, that can be a conduit for workplace conflict.

This is why it is vital for all bosses to consider how they treat their staff, and take corrective measures if they feel that they have favoured some and not others.

Click here for more articles and advice on conflict management

Lack Of Communication Skills

In certain scenarios, the work environment and the boss’ role have nothing to do with the conflict, but the lack of communication skills on the part of the employees is to blame.

In this case, the manager should consider stepping in and examining which skills could benefit the colleagues in improving their interaction.

Perhaps it is anger management, or learning about different cultures, or simply finding a better way to express themselves.

Providing staff with tools they need to communicate better can dramatically decrease the amount of conflict at work.

One of the best ways to deal with conflict at the office is to prevent it – follow the three suggestions above to eliminate these issues from your workplace.

Thanks again

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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