Wednesday, March 30, 2011

E-Tip #331- 5 Tips For Handling Conflicts At Work

Conflict is an aspect of human nature. Sooner or later, we all bump heads with someone in the workplace. Since productivity and employee morale are on the line when conflict sparks in the workplace, it is imperative that leaders and managers quickly extinguish the flames. That's where having a conflict resolution strategy comes into play.

The Faster You Resolve Conflict, The Faster Your Business Gets Back On Track.

Conflict and the emotions that fuel it -- anger, frustration, stubbornness -- are a huge waste of time as none of these emotions benefits anyone. This is why you need to resolve conflict quickly and easily, so that your employees can go back to focusing on their work. To assist you in your conflict resolution endeavors, we have put together five proven tips.

5 Tips For Handling Conflict Resolution Fast:

Tip #1. First Thing, Cool Off: When tempers flare and conflict bubbles to the surface, the first thing everyone involved needs to do is walk away and cool down. As conflict rises, strong emotions tend to fuel matters rather than logic and reasoning. And when that happens, any sort of resolution becomes impossible to negotiate. Heated arguing only tends to exacerbate the issue further, not fix it.

Tip #2. Investigate Each Side Separately: Before pulling arguing employees into your office for mediation, attempt to sit down with the each one separately and learn about their individual issues. Make sure not to focus solely on complaints. Find out what the positive angles are -- what your employee wants or needs to come out of resolution.

Tip #3. Gather And Unify Solutions: Ultimately, everyone involved in a conflict will have their own ideas for what constitutes an acceptable solution. As an objective mediator, your only hope at resolving the matter is to stitch together a solution comprised of the most agreeable aspects of each employee's individual solution. This way, the solution you put into motion appeals to everyone and does not seem one-sided.

Tip #4. Implement Your Solution: Now that you have a solution in mind, it is time to implement it. That means having a plan in place and steps to take that will remedy the current conflict and prevent any residual anger from generating any brushfire conflicts. Your plan needs to be accepted and acknowledged by every party involved. Without proper solution implementation, conflicts are destined to break out again in a never-ending cycle.

Tip #5. Follow-up To Avoid Future Conflict: Scaling back a boil to a simmer does not mean the heat is entirely gone. The second half to any conflict resolution should be following-up with everyone. Doing so is a great way to be not only proactive, but also ensure that any lingering bad blood does not affect your business in any way, shape or form.

Executive Summary: Conflict, in life as well as the workplace, is inevitable. There are no tricks to avoiding conflict -- it just happens. Nevertheless, there are steps to managing conflict quickly, effectively and reasonably so that you minimize any disruption to your business and maintain a positive work environment for everyone at the company. By following the tips outlined above, you can tackle any conflicts that arise in a professional manner.

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