Learning to deal with workplace conflict

It is not uncommon for real estate agents to encounter conflict on a regular basis, whether it is with a colleague in the office, or caused by differences between buyers and sellers.  Learning to confront and deal with such tensions can help you to effectively manage the emotions that can arise during these stressful situations.

Workplace conflict can cause large amounts of tension and has the potential to turn a pleasant working environment toxic.  Left unresolved, a difference in opinion between two agents can turn from a neutral situation into negative and potentially harmful conflict.  It is in situations like these that you need to step back, reflect on the situation and act accordingly.

Mediation can be an effective and useful tool to resolve real estate disputes, regardless of whether it involves two real estate agents or a vendor and a buyer.  As an agent who may be faced with such situations, it could be a worthwhile exercise to talk to your manager about attending a training session teaching effective mediation techniques.

The mediation process involves a lot of preparation and skill and the lack of knowledge and understanding between both parties in conflict may cause the process to be long and drawn out.  Learning to be knowledgeable, assertive and respectful towards the opinions and perceptions of others is a great tool in general to learn, and a helpful skill to assist you when workplace conflict does arise. 

If you possess a non-confrontational personality, the following suggestions may aid you to resolve and prevent your own conflict, both in the workplace and out in the field.

For individual situations:
1. Address the problem directly.
2. Look for the facts, not the emotions, inflaming the situation.
3. Find common ground by identifying the agreed upon facts behind the argument.
4. Be positive.

When mediating between others, employ the above, as well as:
5. Listen to both sides by letting each party talk without interruption to better gauge their perception on how and why the tension arose (it is usually best to talk to each party separately).
6. Bring both parties together to discuss the issues. There may be facts that the other party was not aware of, so as mediator it is always good to slowly talk through the scenario at hand.
7. Seek a situation of compromise

Conflicts inside or outside the workplace are generally inevitable.  The best way you can manage and learn from them is to encourage acts of mediation by identifying the underlying problem at hand. You will find that most conflicts are personality based and may seem difficult to settle in the workplace. If you would like to learn how to deal more effectively with workplace conflict, it is advised that you pursue any available mediation and work conflict training.

Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 08/04/2011 at 11:32 AM | Categories:

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