Discussion 1 Jackie:
Part 1: Do a little research online describe some strategies you have found to help resolve conflict.
This article about workplace conflict by Hayes covers a few of the points I feel are the most helpful at dealing with workplace conflict. Presume positive intentions is #1- and I think it is with good reason. Most people are trying to do their best and are not trying to be difficult. If you approach problems with this in mind, it makes everything easier, builds respect when everyone in the workplace agrees to view each other as positive, and changes how you interact with problems. Address the problem, not the person –By addressing the issue rather than attacking the person, it makes it easier for the person you are managing to see the concerns, not as an attack on themselves which will send them straight into defensive mode (Hayes,2017). Listen for the complaint in the request- this is one I had not heard before, and I found this to be interesting. Hayes states that people complain because of not getting what they want or need in the workplace, and if you listen for the complaint, and don’t join into complaint mode, and listen so you can resolve the complaint (problem)
For part two of this discussion, I have a few different thoughts on email training, which may or may not be practical. First, If the lab adopts a standard way to email and rules for email, this does a few things for communication and efficacy of work speed. Say the lab adopts a standard of emailing status updates at the end of the lab week to cc all in that lab team, this means everyone gets to see what the progress is, and is very much like what would be in place if there was a project Gantt chart in place. If a rule was action items highlighted in color, let’s say green, people would know to check for the green highlighted areas. If emails requiring a response are all coded in a particular way, say code 44, all would know those emails need an actual email back. These little things seem small but make a big difference, as all will come into the lab with different email habits and quirks. Having everyone on a standard ruled set of how to use the email and when is a great place to start.
Where I used to work, back in the day, we had to highlight any questions in yellow. The people responding had to ensure that if they were asked three questions, they indeed answered three questions back in their response email and all emails were bcc to the store manager for a record, but all knew this, so no one typed crazy stuff in the emails. Currently, I do mostly volunteer work with PTA, the Elementary school, and my church. However, I still highlight the questions that need responses, and sadly usually will only get 2 answers back if I ask 3 questions, so I have found that emails are great for one or two items. Still, if it gets more complicated, people either need an outline or a follow-up to the original email.
Hayes, T. (2017). Struggling to Resolve Workplace Conflict? Here Are Some Tips. Credit Union Times, accessed at http://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=123744958&site=eds-live&scope=site
Discission 2 Rene:
Conflict is not extraneous to the workplace. We live in diverse society where everyone is different and have thoughts that are unique to each one. This makes individual actions and opinions really diverse, especially in the work place. Thus, we often encounter conflict situations in the workplace when there are contradictory actions, opinions or behaviors between employees. This conflict situations, if let unresolved, typically lead to a toxic, non-productive work environment.
Preventing conflicts before they occur is a great start point to mitigate the issue, and, in my opinion, one of the best strategies, as it minimizes chances of occurrence. It is essential to know the causal factors that may contribute to conflicts, so they can be prevented. Another strategy that is really helpful when resolving conflicts is to practice and encourage clear communication in the workplace. Miscommunications almost always lead to misunderstandings and difference in opinions. There is also a need to define and establish an expected behavior, so it is clear to all employees how they are expected to behave, what is accepted, and what is not. These guidelines should be accessible to all employees, and there should be a dedicated person to answer questions or concerns. When employees behave as expected and follow well-planned social and ethical guidelines there is always less room for conflict. It is also important to be prepared to handle conflict when it does happen and the most efficient way to do this is by determining the issues that created the disagreement in the first place. Once the issues are identified, the recommended approach is to encourage dialogue between all parties involved, so everyone can voice their thoughts and concerns. This should be done while keeping the conversation respectful, open and giving everyone a chance to talk. This will allow the parties involved to listen to each until there is mutual understanding or acceptance. If there is no common agreement achieved, the conflict should be elevated thorough the appropriate channels, in a respectful way, until a solution is achieved. Not necessarily all of the conflicts should be perceived negatively. For example, a conflict resulting in an employee challenging the status quo, may have a positive outcome for the company.
I believe it would not be realistic to say that electronic communications can be negative for the workplace. Electronic communications are essential in the digital era that we are currently living. One example of beneficial electronic communication, other than email, that I think has a great impact is the Document Review capability of Microsoft Word. Using the Review option in Microsoft Word, multiple individuals can review a document and communicate via “comments” the feedback or opinions. This saves time and prevents scheduling multiple meetings or phone calls, as you simply communicate your feedback via a comment in the document itself. I believe the conflict prevention guidelines also apply here, as a non-hostile, inclusive environment should be expected when communicating, specially when there may be different opinions involved. I also think it is advantageous for companies to provide training regarding electronic communications, to improve efficiency and prevent conflicts. For example, if an employee wishes to schedule a meeting with multiples attendees through Outlook Calendar and fails to do so correctly due to lack of training, it would be counterproductive and, any attendee left out by accident my feel rejected.
Glassdoor Team. (n.d.). Strategies for resolving conflict in the workplace – glassdoor. Glassdoor. Retrieved November 27, 2021, from https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/resolving-conflict-in-the-workplace/.