Conflict in the call center: Inevitable, but important

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. One way or another, in the high-stress environment of the call center, people will butt heads at some point. There will be disagreements between the team leader and their agents. There will be coworkers locking horns over some personal matter. There might be raised voices. Things will die down, or escalate. That’s simply how it is.

However, despite the importance of a harmonious workplace, conflict can be helpful. As ironic as that sounds, it’s normal for your bilingual call center to get into such speed bumps. And knowing what conflict can bring to your workplace can make conflict resolution strategies work better.

How can conflict be healthy

male female officemates fighting over paper documents

In general, organizational conflict can be explained as a state of discord between a team which can lead to an impasse. Such conflicts may stem from leadership concerns, difference of goals and work approaches, personality clashes, or sometimes even diversity-related issues. These issues start from an intrapersonal level, which can slowly spread and escalate to an organizational level when left unchecked and unresolved.

But wouldn’t a conflict-free environment be ideal—utopian, even? Everybody working together like a perfectly tuned machine? Alas, even a machine needs oiling from time to time. There’s no workplace without conflict. Each person is unique in their own way, so there’s bound to be contradictory opinions. A no-conflict workplace translates to an environment enveloped in fear.

Conflict can be destructive to your contact center’s workflow and dynamic. But when such matters are resolved properly and timely, they can bring positive changes which can improve your employees’ productivity. Conflict can be healthy due to the following reasons.

 

1.     It creates a conversation.

coworkers arguing in front of human resources manager

Conflict allows people to voice out their disagreements regarding a particular matter. It raises questions. When people air their grievances, they present another side of the problem, which could help in creating the most viable solution for the conflict. Also, good communication is key in making sure your workers remain united in achieving your call center’s goals.

 

2.     It gives insights on people’s behavior.

businessman in argument with business partner during meeting

Not everyone communicates the same way. Conflict can allow you to identify how people approach the problem and how they act on it. It gives you insights on how they communicate with each other regarding the issue. That way, you can learn how to handle each person.

 

3.     It makes people think.

man fighting with self triplets

Conflict opens minds. It encourages people to think of creative and viable solutions to the issue at hand. With people sounding their opinions, new, previously unexplored ideas can be used to solve the conflict. It changes the way people approach a problem after being presented with new ideas.

 

4.     Builds and strengthens working relationships.

coworkers fighting during boardroom meeting

Like a typical relationship, conflict can strengthen your contact center team’s work dynamics. When people can be vocal about their concerns, it ensures that everyone is contented with the end-result. Once the dust settles and the problem is resolved, each of your employees can gain a better understanding on their fellow workers. In short, conflict brings people together.

 

There isn’t a magical way to solve all the problems that affect the work dynamics of a call center. Through proper conflict resolution strategies, conflicts in the workplace can be mitigated to the benefit of all parties involved.

 

 

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