More and more human resources directors, safety and security professionals, and CEO's are spending their time on workplace conflict resolution and managing difficult or angry employees. Workplace conflicts should never be swept under the rug. If you are the supervisor or manager and have employees that are involved in a personality conflict, coach them to resolve their own situation and if that doesn't work step in! You have a responsibility to the other employees to get control of this situation.
Here are 3 tips when you encounter a workplace conflict or are having an issue with an employee or co-worker:
1. Focus on the other person's strengths. Remind yourself of the contributions that the other person brings to your company or your team. When things are going badly, we have a tendency to focus on what doesn't work and all of the negatives. Focusing on the positive helps us to at least get back to a neutral space and look at things a little more objectively.
2. Use cooperative communication such as "I've noticed that we seem to have differences. I have some ideas about how we might be able to work together more effectively and I would like to hear your thoughts." Invite them to be a part of the solution and really listen to their ideas. If you are unable to communicate either because you are too angry or the other person is, then walk away gracefully rather than standing your ground and allowing things to escalate.
3. Document all interactions in a neutral manner. It is important to keep track of the confrontations. If you are not able to de-escalate the conflict early on, take the issue to your immediate supervisor or someone in your HR department and have a neutral party mediate the situation.
Call me to talk about Violence Free "Conflict Resolution" and "Managing Angry Customers and Employees" Workshops at (623) 242-8797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.