When it comes to having a successful business, it is crucial that you keep your employees happy. It is inevitable that disputes will arise, but it is how you handle conflict that can make or break your workplace culture. If conflicts continue to arise amongst your team members and are not appropriately handled, the workplace can become a toxic environment leading to further disputes, and significantly reduce the overall happiness of your employees. Leaders need to act swiftly and concisely to deal with issues to ensure productivity is not hindered in any way and that the dynamics of your team remain intact.

If you are facing such issues at your workplace, here are few simple, yet effective ways to handle conflict among your team:

Listen first

When you first become aware of a conflict between team members, it is essential to listen to both parties before jumping to any conclusions or solely judging the situation from an outsiders perspective. This step is vital to understand what the people who are involved are thinking and feeling, and at the same time, it will help you understand the nature of the conflict.

Active listening can lead to effective troubleshooting, and you will also be able to be aware of such problems in future as well.

Do not take sides

If you are in a leadership position and it is time for some conflict resolution between your employees, you need to behave like a true leader. There is no point in giving opinions that favor any one person over another.

To solve the problem, you have to be impartial and provide a reasonable and fair solution to the situation at hand. This will ensure that all team members involved will feel like their concerns and feelings are important, no matter their position within the company.

Do not postpone the solution

When conflicts are not addressed in time, they can start to effect an employees performance. However, you also need to be sure not to address the situation too early because it will not give you time to properly consider the situation.

Do you notice your employee getting frustrated easily over simple things or is their performance slipping? It may be time to step in to help resolve the conflict. Your decision must be balanced, and it should not hamper the work performance of your team.

Meet with team members together

Let both parties explain their points of view and air their grievances in a common meeting; there is no point in meeting with them individually to address the situation. Allow them to explain the reason for their behavior and be sure to provide them with the space to ask questions to really understand one another. A short discussion on the matter will help clear up any miscommunication or misunderstandings.

Be empathetic

Being empathetic, or the ability to share and understand a person’s feelings is important in creating a trusting relationship between you and your team members. Not only is being empathetic incredibly beneficial to help resolve conflicts, but it will increase the overall happiness of your employees if they feel genuinely understood.

According to Society For Human Resource Management, a study conducted by a global HR consulting company found that empathy is a leadership skill that is most strongly linked to performance, so it is a crucial skill to develop.

Leaders need to be patient and vigilant when it comes to dealing with the conflicts among team members. One wrong decision can leave a long-lasting impact on the performance of your employee’s, so make sure to prioritize the happiness of your employees, and seek to resolve any conflicts before they get out of hand. If all else fails, don’t forget that you can always reach out to your HR department to help diffuse any situation that may arise between members of your team.