We’ve all been in a situation where the tension in the air is palpable. Colleagues are not getting along. Both sides think they are right, and everyone is walking on eggshells, waiting for the whole thing to explode.
The problem is that if this conflict isn’t addressed, it will not only affect the people in direct conflict with each other,\\but it will also affect morale, productivity, employee health, and your bottom line.
As a manager, your job is to be able to mediate and resolve these conflicts so that you can reduce these negative effects and build a strong team that is anchored by a strong sense of loyalty and commitment.
Here are 5 tips to help you manage that conflict and build a successful team:
- Establish clear guidelines. People do much better when they know what is expected of them. Take the time to document everything from their job descriptions and job expectations to what’s acceptable behavior and what won’t be tolerated. Having these written guidelines will also make it easier to resolve conflicts in the future – especially when they are clearly expressed and available to all.
- Build a positive environment. It’s been proven that people work harder and are more productive in environments that foster open communication and a spirit of teamwork. Don’t forget to add a little fun to the workday to build a sense of camaraderie.
- Be aware of conflict and potential conflict. Let’s face it. At some point in our work lives (or even the work week) we’ll run into some sort of conflict. As a manager and leader in your organization, it’s your job to be able to spot potential conflicts and diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. This means taking the time to know your staff and what’s going on at all times so you can work with them to get over these “bumps in the road” in a manner that not only resolves the conflict but also makes the team stronger.
- Open the doors for communication. Along with building a positive environment, this goes a long way to making your team feel comfortable coming to you with their problems. Make sure you explain the big picture so they are willing to collaborate and work together towards a common goal. Ask for input, give constructive criticism as a learning tool, and don’t forget to compliment your team on a job well done.
- Reach out to Human Resources. Inevitably, you’ll run into situations where you’ll need help from someone outside your department. If your company is big enough, most likely you’ll have a Human Resources person or department. HR can help guide you through difficult issues, and can often help mediate conflicts within your team. They are there for you and should be used as a trusted resource.
Conflict within teams is inevitable. But armed with these tips, you’ll be able to handle most of those situations that come your way.
Are the people in your business or organization suffering from unresolved conflict? Business Relationship Edge has the solution and is available to help you make peace. Give us a call at (732) 859-8419 to schedule a 30-minute complimentary assessment.