Civil discourse existed long ago as one of the most effective ways of dealing with conflicts. This is because it allows individuals with different opinions and thoughts to attempt to understand each other’s rationale for their ideas or beliefs.
Civil discourse has proven to be an avenue for discussion where dialogues are held in a constructive, robust, honest, and respectful manner. And it does not exclude the office setting.
Even if you have never heard about civil discourse, you can’t deny the tension that exists in the workplace when sensitive discussions are held. This wouldn’t be if civil discourse were practiced in such work environments.
However, not everyone knows how to manage these workplace conflicts, and not everyone knows what civil discourse is and how to use it. Fortunately, we will look at civil discourse and five tips on how it can be used to manage workplace conflicts.
What is Civil Discourse?
Civil discourse is a productive interaction where individuals listen to dissenting views, respond politely, and find common ground.
The true definition of civil discourse is achieved when people actively listen. Active listening occurs when one listens to understand and not to argue or appear polite.
Suppose you’re a manager of a team or a Supervisor in your workplace and intend to promote trust within the work environment and make a far-reaching impact. In that case, you must be civil in your instructions and gestures.
It may seem like a tall order, but it is achievable. The pressure and bustle in the workplace might make you overlook the need to not only master but champion productive discussion.
The good news is that civil discourse is not hard to master. It’s pretty straightforward. With just a little practice and focus, you can excel at it.
There’s no special experience or education needed. You just have to state your views politely to reach a mutual understanding.
Let’s see the tips for managing workplace conflicts using civil discourse.
5 Civil Discourse Tips for Workplace Conflict Resolution
Civil discourse has been used to resolve conflicts in many settings and has helped to create safe spaces in those areas. It can be used in a workplace to ensure that conflicts are resolved and that every opinion is listened to and respected. But to do this, you will need to do the following.
Know the source of the conflict
The best way to resolve conflicts in the workplace is to know the source of the problem. Once that is found, resolving the conflicts becomes a lot easier. How do you do that? Easy. One of the skills needed is active listening. You will have to actively listen to the conflicting parties and hear each side of the story. That way, you can trace where the problem is from. However, if it is unclear, ensure that the parties agree on whatever they think is the source of the problem. This is a good place to kickstart conflict resolution in workplace conflicts.
Identify other problems
One small problem can lead to various other problems, which sets the path for a bigger conflict. This problem can be heightened by the clash of emotions and views and even worsened by miscommunication. However, the ability to resolve issues like this lies in your ability to identify these little foxes that might already be existent in the workplace. You can use civil discourse and look beyond the conflict, finding the exact problem. This problem might also be a barrier to the resolution if not found and solved.
Find common ground
Conflicts can rarely be resolved if there is no common ground. Even in the office, you will have to find this common ground among the conflicting parties.
The beauty of common ground is that it helps you focus on resolving the problem after knowing the cause. Here you will still need your active listening skill. It’s very important to hear each party’s thoughts and ideas, compare and contrast them with the other party, and seek common ground.
Discuss the next course of action
After reaching common ground, deciding the next course of action is important. While doing that, endeavor to assign tasks to both parties, and put plans in place to avoid future conflicts. If you can, the parties should reach an agreement, written preferably, where they promise to avoid any form of workplace conflicts that may hamper productivity.
Evaluate the conflict resolution process
After meditating and using civil discourse to address the disputes, you have to evaluate your process and know if you indeed resolved the conflicts. If you did not, it’s not too late to come up with a better strategy bearing in mind that each party has unique individuality, and you need to understand them as well.
If conflicts in the workplace are ignored, it damages the relationship between teammates. It reduces productivity which is very bad for business. However, with civil discourse, you’ll not only resolve conflicts but also build a strong relationship in your workplace that is safe, very productive, and also respectful. Resolving conflicts would be so easy if you mastered civil discourse.