Managing and resolving conflicts in a politically inclined group of team members

This article was written by one of our passionate readers, Ms Rachel Everly. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

In every workplace, where teamwork is an integral part of the working process, conflicts are inevitable. However, in a politically charged environment, many managers decide to either ignore it or blame someone for it. Conflicts need to be handled with a strategic plan, and constructive steps. If you leave it on its own for too long, it becomes easy to get pulled into arguments, where you become the center of a colossal mess.

Why Workplace Politics Happens

  • Many times people have to compete amongst themselves for the limited resources the organization has. This leads to conflicts between teams where they are only focusing on their needs and goals instead of the bigger
  • In the workplace usually, some people hold more authority than others do. This could be due to some sort of influential basis, or hierarchical authority.
  • Most people like to be a part of the decision-making Hence they try to get their way if they are not directly in charge of making the decisions.
  • For a lot of people, getting a promotion is all they aim for, and therefore they’ll do anything to achieve their goals. When competition exists, it can mess with the objectives of the team where personal goals get in the way of strategy.

Read on for some tips on how to manage politically inclined workplace conflicts.

Getting to Know the Informal Network

Office Politics have a way of circumventing the formal chain of command. Once you know who is really playing which role in your organization, you become a step closer to understanding the social network of the workplace. It will be easier to resolve a conflict when you realize who the people who get along are. Also, notice if there any groups that have formed even though there are no separate teams.

The most important thing to notice is what makes the basis of interrelationship? Is it manipulation, respect or friendship? This will help you target the people who can help you resolve the situation.

Changing the Organization Chart

If you have the power to remap the organization chart, you might have to resort just that; especially when a conflict feels like it won’t be resolved through negotiation. First, sit back and watch for a bit. Notice who the real influencers are, who is respected by all, the person with real authority but never uses it, and the actual genius that is driving the organization. Once you know, redo the chart accordingly.

Listen

Make a habit of spending time listening more and speaking less. This way you save yourself from saying the wrong things or say something that may quickly be taken out of context. The plus of this is that people tend to like people who like them.

Be the Neutralizer

Once you know what role the people you work with really play, your first instinct might be to run away from the toxic ones. However as one who needs to manage and resolve a conflict when it may arise you must use your social connections. Understand what really motivates these people, and what their real goals are. This is the only way you will learn to counter the negative situation that is brewing.

Building Relationships

Once you dispel a conflict in a workplace, your job is to make sure that it does not keep happening again and again. The key to this is that as a leader you build your own social network.

To do that you must mingle with politically influential people in the workplace, remember that it is okay to have relationships across the formal hierarchy. Also, it doesn’t help to build a relationship with empty flattery, your social contacts with people in the organization must be built on respect and trust. Make sure that you are friends with all groups and not come out as favoring only one. Moreover, make sure that you become a part of multiple networks.

Is It All Because of You

As a leader, if you have favorites it may just spark that ambition in others to not play a fair game. When people are looking up to you, it is essential that you act as if they are the most important people to you, because, to them, you definitely are.

Don’t Hold Grudges

If you have ever been in the middle of a deadly conflict, you should forgive even if you don’t forget. Once you have addressed an issue, move on. Later on for whatever reason if you choose to return the favor you kept yourself from doing all that time ago, it will only look bad for you.

Keep Yourself in Check

Make sure that you observe and focus on what works for your organization and what does not. Naturally, you will identify successful behaviors and model them, but you won’t necessarily catch on what these people do to dispel conflicts. For yourself, you must adhere to specific rules that will keep from politics spreading, or you being pulled into it.

When dealing with a situation always be assertive but not aggressive. Be the one who rises above any personal conflicts, don’t pass on questionable judgments or spread rumors. It is essential that when you hear something, you think with a cool head on how much credibility it might hold. Finally, when you voice objections, present your perspective as an organizational one, instead of what may seem to harbor a personal agenda.

It is crucial that you accept the fact that office politics will forever exist. You must do everything that you can to first prevent them instead of waiting to deal with them; hire intelligently by screening all potential candidates carefully, it helps if you put them on the spot on how they feel about office politics and see how they react.

There will be days when you are countering something you dispelled a while ago, but you cannot dedicate your focus entirely to it. Instead, devote your precious time to manage your own projects.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

UN aid teams scramble to reach ‘most remote places’ cut off by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique

Nearly 900 children released by north-east Nigeria armed group

Trade Committee advocates lower tariffs in Western Sahara

5 post-COVID trends from Indian entrepreneurs

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Can I still send mail in the time of coronavirus?

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Capitalism’s greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

4 key ways countries can finance their SDG ambitions

Digital Green Certificate is the right move but speeding up vaccination is key

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

‘Eco-shaming’ is on the rise, but does it work?

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

Total US cases quadruple in one week – Today’s coronavirus updates

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: The fruits of sustainability and decent work

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and revised Political Declaration

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Sweden has a plan to end all traffic accident deaths

The zero that every investment portfolio needs

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Chatterbox Rome Declaration cannot save the EU; Germany has to pay more to do that

4 fixes for equipment supply chains before the next COVID-19 waves hit

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

Climate finance for developing countries reached USD 71 billion in 2017

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

Women in leadership: closing the gender gap in medicine

Why trust and technology go hand-in-hand

Growing a future free of terrorism: UN News special report from Cameroon

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

Blockchain is facing a backlash. Can it survive?

Creating zero-emission aviation with hydrogen and electric power

COVID-19: Commission creates first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment

Taxation: Commission refers Poland to Court for failing to remove certain tax exemptions on the use of energy products by highly polluting businesses

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

These countries are driving global demand for coal

Protecting workers from biological agents: how to classify SARS-CoV-2

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

Major humanitarian hub in north-east Nigeria burned in attack

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s