How to Handle Disputes in the Workplace? – Disagreements and conflicts in the workplace can have many unpleasant consequences. They affect productivity, motivation, and employee morale. A professional environment cannot exist without collaboration and effective communication. Thus, it is vital to handle disputes transparently and fairly.

Being dragged into a dispute at work can leave you confused and helpless. What is the best way to handle the situation? Read on to learn more.

Assess the Severity of the Problem

Every workplace dispute is different. To determine the best course of action, you must first assess the severity of the problem. Are you in conflict with a coworker or your boss? Solving a minor disagreement with a coworker is different than trying to convince your boss to respect your legal rights. What is the cause of the dispute: miscommunication, misaligned values or principles, a personality clash, or something severe like sexual harassment, discrimination, or breach of contract?

What will you lose if you don’t stand your ground? Is your career and earning potential at stake? Are you subject to unfair treatment? Is your boss disrespecting your legal rights? If you are facing a delicate situation, you must contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

Are you dealing with breach of employment contract, discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination? With the help of an experienced employment lawyer, you can use a settlement agreement to get the possible outcome in the given situation.

Document The Incident

Solving a workplace conflict can be challenging if you don’t have evidence to support your claims and back up your arguments. A workplace dispute affects everyone, so managers and HR professionals will likely get involved as well. An excellent way to support your case is to document the incident. Keep track of all conversations and filed complaints. Communicate in writing so you can always refer back to a conversation.

If you file a legal claim, you will need as much supporting evidence as possible. If it’s only your words against someone else’s words, things can escalate quickly. Your personality, behavior, past actions, and words will face scrutiny. Documenting the incident will give you firm tools to fight potential slander or unfair treatment.

Involve Others in the Conversation

Workplace disputes usually attract the attention of the human resources team immediately. Managers and supervisors typically receive conflict resolution training. If you are in conflict with a coworker, inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Make sure to present all the facts as authentically as possible. Being transparent is very important.

If you are in conflict with a higher-up, you may be clueless about who to involve in the conversation. An objective perspective is essential, so contact your HR team immediately. They have the professional expertise to handle sensitive issues like this.

An external perspective is critical in conflict resolution because the parties directly involved in the conflict cannot detach enough to see things objectively.

Final Words

Knowing how to handle a dispute at work is critical.  Practice active listening. Communicate your intentions and expectations well. Make sure to discuss facts, not subjective opinions or feelings. Using our tips will help you protect your rights, reputation, career, and professional relationships.