Dealing with Conflict in the workplace is a given if you have more than just one employee. Put more than one employee in any location for eight hours a day you know that sooner or later there will be Employee Conflict. Even in a marriage when two people are committed and love each other there is conflict. So it is wise to gain some experience in dealing with it.
Understanding the personalities of your staff is one of the keys to Dealing with Conflict in the workplace. This can be done in many different ways, but one of the good ones would be the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. Tests like this one don’t necessarily give you an exact indicator of one’s personality, but it sure helps give indicators of them. As an example you may find out that someone has an indicator that they don’t necessarily do well in groups. Or maybe they are someone that needs very specific details before making decisions.
Knowing this type of information can make it much easier Dealing with Conflict sense you will understand a little more about what makes them tick! These indicators are like mini hot buttons for some of them. So if we use the example above where someone needs very specific details about something before making decisions, you would not want them working side by side with someone that isn’t unless you have given them both information about what your expectations are.
Now however if you have done everything to try and eliminate any Employee Conflict and it still occurs there are still ways to Dealing with Conflict. First we must stop the Employee Conflict immediately if it is getting out of hand. In other words if there is yelling and screaming going on. Get them separated! Once they are separated then you can sit them each down individually and get their version of what happened. There will be bits and pieces from both that will match up; however, they will both have their own spin on them making them seem better.
While you are listening try to get down to the root cause of what is happening. It may even take you going back in time to question them about things that have happened days, weeks or even months prior to this situation. Most Employee Conflict doesn’t just happen out of the blue. It is usually a build up from at least one of them over time. Many little things have led up this blow up! So as your Dealing with Conflict try to break it down to the very root cause of what happened. You may find out from your questioning that it began with a rumor about something the other one did.
If you can break it down to the root cause then it is time to try and get them together with some very clear ground rules. Now let me caution you that this does not always work and you will have to be the judge of your own staff as to whether this is a good idea for you. But if you go forward with a meeting the rules must be clear up front. Some rules to consider would be like no name calling. Either you or someone that is respected would need to be the facilitator of the meeting. But again without the root cause this type of meeting will not be successful.
On the other hand if you know the root cause and are able to present it to the other party you may be able to have them apologize, especially if they didn’t realize what they had said or done. This still should be monitored to make sure that things don’t get out of hand again. Many times people will apologize by saying things like, “I’m sorry but…”. This is a formula for disaster also. So when Dealing with Conflict it may take all kinds of talents to overcome them!
Good Luck and May God Bless You!