Although it’s possible to avoid tension in the workplace, it’s also essential to manage it carefully. Having the necessary skills to resolve conflicts can help improve your team dynamics and make you more successful. A common workplace conflict occurs when a new manager enters your department and takes over a project. You’re unsure of how the new responsibilities and roles will be distributed.
Prepare for a Constructive Conversation
It can be hard to feel like you have control over the situation, especially when it involves a new manager. Being open and communicative can help you manage your anxiety. Constructive conversations with your new boss can help you get used to the new reality and work toward a common goal.
Craft a Respectful Invitation
You can invite your new colleague by e-mail, though make sure that the message is well-written and professional. Before you invite a new colleague, you must find a place of empathy for them. This person may be anxious because, as a new team member, they are entering a situation where everyone is already familiar with the rules. Your language can evoke feelings in others, and it must be said in a way that makes them feel valued and comfortable. Some of the opening lines of an e-mail can include “I’m seeking your guidance” or “could we discuss?” This type of conversation starter shows that you’re willing to listen to and learn from your new colleague’s perspective and experience. It can also help build a bridge between both parties.
Meet in a Neutral Space
Having a neutral ground can help you and your new colleague have productive conversations. Many barriers can prevent effective communication, and physical locations represent these obstacles. The office is often the most challenging location for conflict resolution. Establishing a productive relationship when you’re meeting in front of your office or colleague can be hard. Try taking a walk outside or getting coffee in the cafeteria. Meeting in an open and impartial environment can help you feel more comfortable.
Before you start the conversation, it’s vital that you first consider the potential points of alignment and interests of your new colleague. A clear understanding of these can help you have a more positive and productive conversation. You can open the conversation by saying that your new colleague should speak first, or you can take a turn. This allows you to explore overlapping interests and create a bridge that can help you build a stronger relationship. You and your new colleague should also explore the various asymmetries that can exist in the workplace. For instance, if you’re passionate about recent projects and want to oversee the discovery phase, your colleague might be more inclined to take on the execution of the project. However, you can always benefit from working together on shared goals. When you’re ready to take on the role of mediator, you can explore ways to bridge the gaps and share your perspective. Although these approaches can be very challenging, they can still help you manage a conflict.