At some point in the life of your business, you’re going to experience conflict. It may come from employees, customers, or even business partners. How you manage that conflict is going to define your leadership and set the tone for your company.
While managing conflict is not easy, here are three tips that can make it a little less intimidating.
#1: Know When It’s Time to Step In
As a small business owner, you want to be hands-on in every aspect of your business. This is one area where you need to exercise restraint, at least at first. If you see a conflict arise between your employees – don’t automatically step in.
It’s important to give your employees the opportunity to resolve the issue themselves. This will promote team bonding, and a mutual respect between the employees. Keep an eye on the situation, however, because you don’t want the conflict to affect the workplace in the long-term.
If the conflict persists for several days, or affects job performance – it’s time to say something.
#2: Avoid Taking Sides
If you’re dealing with a conflict between two employees, avoid taking sides. You have to remain objective. If you give the impression that you favor one party over another, the second party may become defensive.
Your goal is not to place blame, but to be a mediator between the two parties. Define the problem to keep everyone focused on the actual issue. You want to give each party a platform to state their side of the issue without recourse.
#3: Establish Conflict Prevention
The best way to manage conflict is to create ways to mitigate the risk of conflict altogether. A great way to accomplish this is to provide conflict resolution training for your staff. This can help them to identify potential trigger behaviors and how to better manage their interactions with fellow employees.
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