Director of Integrated Construction Services
Conflict at any level is an opportunity for growth. Diversified perspectives make an organization, family, community or a country stronger.
The same could be said for a jobsite. This is a simple idea, but handling conflict isn't without complications.
There are five main elements that make resolving differences of opinion difficult:
- People are complex, and understanding their perspective takes time.
- If it's related to personal safety, then it must be resolved before addressing additional complexities.
- If it's a legal issue, then it's important to have some basic guidelines and tools from the human resources team when planning an approach.
- If the conflict occurs because an employee might not be a good fit for the job, then help them find a different position within the company.
- If it's a personality conflict, encourage workers to get to know each other better to gain more insight into each other's perspective.
Managing conflict is about people listening, reflecting and responding. Once people feel heard, they will be more likely to respond positively to feedback.
This, in turn, builds respectful relationships where workers feel compelled to hear each other's opinions with an open mind.
Founder & Certified Business Leadership Coach
Conflict is an inevitable part of any type of work. We've all seen situations where people with different goals and needs have clashed, and we've all witnessed the often-intense personal animosity that can result. Don't let that happen to your team.
Here's how to resolve a difference of opinion on the jobsite:
- Make good relationships a priority. Treat the other person with respect. Do your best to be courteous and discuss matters constructively.
- Separate people from problems. Recognize that, in many cases, the other person is not being difficult. Real and valid differences can lie behind conflicting positions. By separating the problem from the person, you can discuss issues without damaging relationships.
- Listen carefully to different interests. You'll get a better grasp of why people have adopted their position if you try to understand their point of view.
- Listen first, talk second. You should listen to what the other person is saying before defending your own position. They might have something to say that changes your mind.
- Set out the facts. Decide on the observable facts that might impact your decision together.
- Explore options together. Be open to the idea that a third position may exist, and that you might reach it jointly.