Employees get into conflicts in nearly every workplace. Sometimes it’s just a spat; sometimes it’s more severe.
How can you deal effectively with such conflicts? Here’s a six-step method:
- Meet with the parties — together. Seeing them separately just entrenches their positions. Let each party give their point of view, but intervene if they start attacking each other.
- Ask each party what they’d like to see the other do, do more of, or stop doing.
- If you’re partly responsible for the conflict – perhaps you’ve unwittingly given incompatible directives – acknowledge this.
- Ask for commitments to resolve the differences. And make sure each party agrees to notice the other’s efforts kin this regard.
- Explain the consequences of failure. Remind the parties it’s now up to them to resolve the conflict, and discipline may follow if they don’t.
- Express your confidence that they will be able to resolve the conflict.
Source: Susan M. Heathfield.
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