Here are eight sentences that can defuse conflict in the workplace and why they are so effective: Often the most important part of resolving conflict is remembering to listen. Depending on the situation, resolving problems between employees can also mean productivity is able to return to normal. It's natural that nerves get fraught towards the end of a meeting, especially if both parties feel wronged. Try out these phrases next time you need to do so. If the situation involves another party who isn't at the meeting, you can be extremely limited as to what you can say without assigning blame to another employee. One of the biggest mistakes small-business owners make is trying to avoid conflict. Few people enjoy conflict, especially with their colleagues, so just noting a complaint can be all you need to do. This means it's always in the best interests of the company to resolve internal conflicts quickly and effectively to ensure there's no lingering impact on individuals or the business as a whole. These 10 phrases can help you resolve conflict constructively. … The key is to be able to resolve them effectively. © 2020 American Express Company. Your comment has been successfully submitted, it must be approved by our admin team before it is presented on the site. Our policies and partners are subject to change so please check back regularly to stay up to date with our terms of use and processing. Can you elaborate on what you just said? "I understand you're upset but yelling at me won't help." Please also see our Terms and Conditions of Use. Small Business Expert, Shafran Moltz Group. All users of our online services subject to Privacy Statement and agree to be bound by Terms of Service. Authors of Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel describe the perfect phrases to resolve any conflict. This is especially important if the dispute involves a senior employee and someone under their management. People don't always want a solution to their issue (though this is obviously advantageous) but just want someone to recognize what they've had to deal with. Please review. Read more articles by Barry Moltz. Defusing conflict is the only way to get something productive out of a conversation or meeting that has gone off the rails. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals. This is also advantageous for the injured party as people rarely say what they mean when they're feeling overly emotional. Photo: Thinkstock. For more information on how we process your data, or to opt out, please read our privacy policy. Copyright © Inbox Insight Ltd | All rights reserved. Device Visibility & Control Across the Enterprise, Futureproofing Enterprise Architecture with MACH, How to Tell if Your Employees Are Actually Working, How HR Leaders are Driving Innovation using Design Thinking. Through the process of “productive conflict,” companies can grow and become more profitable. Try out these phrases next time you need to do so. The key is to be able to resolve them effectively. However, agreeing with them face-to-face only to change your mind after the fact will damage trust in you and the wider company. Here are some phrases to try: So that we’re clear, what I heard you say is… I need a little more information. 8 Sentences that Defuse Conflict at Work 1. It also allows them to think in a way that doesn't necessarily assign blame to a single party, making them consider how their own actions may have led to the end result. All rights reserved, Insights and Inspiration to Help Grow Your Business, Check for Pre-qualified Credit Card Offers, Credit Intel – Financial Education Center. Get Involved This sentence allows you to still recognize their feelings and empathize with what's happened without agreeing with their version of events. This is especially important if the other party is in a more senior position in the company. This is problematic because in any capitalistic economy, conflict is not only an inevitable but a necessary part of all business. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals. Most workplace conflicts can be attributed to a breakdown in communication at some point. Let’s rewind and start over. Of course, what they say may not be possible in reality but it can help you form a judgement on what the next steps should be. We use technology such as cookies on our website, and through our partners, to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. To find out more, read our privacy policy and Cookie Policy. The latest thought leadership for HR pros. Asking them how they want to proceed from here puts the control back in their hands and allows them to constructively think of how they can continue working at the company without being concerned about the same dispute happening again. With internal conflicts it's easy for employees to let their emotions get the better of them, but this anger or upset is very rarely targeted at the person they're speaking to. By arranging to hold another session at a later date, you are giving everyone the opportunity to collect their thoughts and try to come up with a solution. Don't Forget About the Other Person. Here are 10 phrases that can be used to solve any problem you're having in your office: 1. I need to put it in the context of what we were talking about yesterday. This will project an empathy that every angry person wants to hear. Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. During conflict it's easy to forget about the other person. But what do you say to avoid causing more disruption? Partners “I didn't realize this was going on, so tell me more.” Many times, pleading ignorance is a good place to start to diffuse any situation.