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Managing personal conflicts amongst your staff

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Companies are usually made up of employees from a variety of backgrounds. Many times employees have been raised in different cultures from one another or are from completely different countries. Sometimes employees who each have successful philosophies on how to do something, but who ultimately do things differently, may not see eye to eye on some issues. Other times, long hours and high stress may cause employees to have conflicts. Managers are often the person that must resolve these issues and should take into account the following tips when dealing with a conflict amongst their employees.

Consider the Conflict

When presented with a conflict, managers may be tempted to ignore a problem in favor of what seem like more pressing needs at the time. This approach to a conflict amongst employees could lead to a more serious conflict which could cause disruption in employee morale and productivity. Conflicts must be dealt with early in order to help employees return their concentration from the conflict with a co-worker, back to their purpose in the department or company.

Moderate

Managers have a variety of methods to choose from when dealing with a conflict amongst their employees. The method used to resolve a conflict may vary depending on the type of conflict or the employees involved. Moderating is a very useful tool in conflict resolution. A manager may choose to listen to all of the parties involved in a given conflict separately. From the information gathered, a manager may choose to make a decision regarding a solution on their own or create a forum through which the parties involved may resolve the situation themselves.

Enforce a Solution

When the manager chooses to make the decision on their own, they should make sure to clearly inform all parties of the reasons behind a given decision. This can be a dangerous road when trying to maintain the trust of employees. An obviously bias judgment may simply cause more problems. However, an obviously justified and fair solution to a problem may be just what two conflicting employees need to hear.

Create a Forum

Managers who decide to bring conflicting parties together to attempt to resolve a situation as a group should make sure to create a forum that allows for equal communication between parties and that demands rules against negative comments. Equal communication will allow each party involved to fairly air their grievances or problems with the group. As opposing parties listen to these issues, they may find that they had misunderstood their co-worker's stance or meaning all along. A structured conversation regarding an issue will empower employees by allowing them to resolve their own conflicts.

Prepare for Conflict

Employees should understand that differences in opinion, working philosophy, and interests are normal in a working environment. They should be taught how to communicate clearly with one another in order to prevent misunderstanding that could fester into larger conflicts. Employees should also be trained on how to think objectively in order to be able to consider the opinions of co-workers without pre-judging them. This could help employees take their differences and turn them into new effective strategies that lead a company to success.

Conflicts among employees are going to occur. Managers should be sure to prepare for these occurrences by learning how to always take even small conflicts seriously, moderate between conflicting employees, and prepare employees to resolve conflicts before they grow. This will create a more productive working environment for everyone in a given department or company.

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Posted by DF
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