Good Resolutions and Lack of Conflict is Only Possible with Good Management
By Bob Foley, CEO – 360 Talent Advisors
Unfortunately, conflict appears in our professional and personal lives and must be dealt with. Workplaces are common ground for conflicts that must be controlled before it gets out of hand. Unfortunately, weak management will run for cover and refuse to acknowledge that he or she has a serious problem developing. Conflict will not simply disappear and resolve itself. Without solid, strong management, conflict can escalates into a really big problem.
Every workplace or business has workers that disrupt everyone’s workday by manipulation, back stabbing, pointing fingers, lying and the list goes on. Adding to that is the lack of good leadership, shrugging off the problem or refusing to even see it going on. Good management does not play favoritism and does not ignore bad behavior or the disruptive actions of some workers. They understand that if problem is not resolved, they will lose good employees who are tired of a bad atmosphere. Poor working environments lead to a lack in productivity, clients being treated poorly and can lead to business failure.
Good management will recognize situations, realize the core of the problem and bring everyone back to a good resolution. Knowing how to resolve conflicts requires the skills to deal with situations and build a stronger workforce.
What Causes Conflict with an Organization?
People are people and conflicts do arise but in many cases it’s a misunderstanding that can be cleared up and everyone moves on. Other causes range from a struggle for power, jealously, egos and competition. Nine-tenths of conflicts are caused by poor communication or not having the ability to control one’s temper and behavior.
Communication between fellow workers and management must be clear, concise and understood by all. When communication is rarely addressed, employees will gossip, spread untruths or lack of job description. It is essential that management conveys accurate information and makes sure all the employees have been given this valuable information. Siding with one side of the dispute, without knowing the core of the issue, will only lead to more conflicts that will continue to erupt.
On more than one occasion, people will let their temper and their mouths run ahead of their brains. Saying hurtful or threatening comments is more than likely going to show them the door. In some cases, the disruptor is protected because he or she just happens to be “this month’s pet.” This is harmful to other employees leaving them to believe the “pet” can say and do anything they please without consequences. As mentioned earlier, favoritism can be deadly to a healthy work environment and management is totally at fault.
Understanding and Putting the Fire Out:
Management must step up to the plate and understand what’s causing the conflict before being able to resolve the situation:
First and foremost, try and understand what is causing an emotional breakdown with employees. What is triggering the conflict and what’s the catalyst.
Do not assume one party is totally at fault while the other is “as pure as the driven snow.” If management does not know the core of the issue, they should never assume.
Put yourself in the other employees position. Is lack of communication causing arguments amongst employees? Do you recognize that an employee might feel second rate to another employee because of favoritism? Staying neutral and listening to both sides of the situation should give a clearer understanding of what’s going on.
Clearly define employees’ responsibilities and make sure that duties are fairly distributed and not all tasks are placed on just a few workers.
Know your battles and choose carefully. Some situations may be a false storm because employees are tired so let it go. Situations that continually erupt need to be taken seriously and carefully reviewed. Bring the employees together and see if mutual ground can be found and the problem eradicated.
Use Your Best Communication Skills:
Listen to all parties involved and give each person the opportunity to relate their side of the issue. Only ask questions that will help clarify the situation. Do not criticize, accuse or blame one person without knowing the full story.
Sit down with other management personnel and see if changes in the environment, upping communications and recognizing all employees as equal could lead to a better business atmosphere.
Always keep a positive attitude, give people the benefit of the doubt and keep an eye out for any further problems. Most workers are good people and will try to work toward a positive ending.
Good management will seize the opportunity to see what is causing the problem, correct the problem and retain your valuable employees.