How Managers Can Resolve Conflict Within Their Team
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 12-12-2018 06:43 AM
Synopsis: One of the most important duties of a manager is to resolve conflict between the employees they supervise.
One of the best parts about being a manager is that you get to work with a team. Seeing a team truly come together and work toward one goal can be extremely inspiring and motivating. It makes you and your team want to work that much harder to achieve the next goal.
That said, reality isn’t always like this. In fact, you have probably encountered a situation where one member of your team is fighting another. Whether it is a simple disagreement about the direction of a project, a deeper personality conflict, or something else, employee conflicts can destroy team cohesion. They can prevent you and your team from achieving your goals. And, worst case scenario, they can spread and lead to an extremely toxic working environment.
Clearly, the stakes are high. One slip up can cause significant damage within your team. So considering this, what can you do to effectively prevent and resolve conflicts among your team? We have gathered several tactics and strategies that you can use to quickly tackle disagreements so that you and your team can focus on your work.
Steps You Can Take to Resolve Conflict Among Your Team
First, it is critical to set and refer to clear expectations among members of your team. While it is nearly impossible to prevent personality conflicts, it is possible to deter and quickly solve conflicts that emerge over work. By “clear expectations,” we mean standards and principles that govern your work and your working environment. While these expectations may slightly vary depending on your office, things like clear communication and adaptability, and dependability are values that should be embraced by your team.
In effect, you are constructing a set of guidelines for your team that you can refer to should a conflict arise. These expectations cannot work by themselves, however. Your employees must know of them, understand them, and buy into them. Once these steps occur, you will have a much easier time resolving conflict, as you can refer to and follow your expectations and principles when you need to adjudicate and solve a conflict.
Beyond setting clear expectations, you should make it easy for employees to escalate a conflict. Let’s face it: we’re all busy in our day-to-day professional lives. There may be conflicts within our teams that we don’t even realize. Because of this, it is critical to create a set of procedures that employees can follow in order to escalate, and ultimately resolve, a conflict. When creating your system, make sure that you are ultimately able to get all involved parties into a room together, where they can discuss the conflict and ways to move forward. You also want as much information as possible before meeting with all of the involved parties, so make sure to ask for it—preferably in writing. Having these set of steps in place will make it more likely that employees will raise a conflict that you may have simply missed in your day-to-day work.
With all of this, don’t be afraid to get involved. It is easy for managers to turn a blind eye to conflicts that they know are happening. Because you are a manager, you need to tap into your leadership skills. Sometimes this requires you to make a hard decision—like recommending that an employee leave our division or your company entirely. Whatever you decide, it is vital for you to set emotion aside. Focus on the facts of the conflict and come to as objective a conclusion as possible. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to get it, whether that is advice from your manager or even further involvement. You have all dedicated your valuable time to your company or organization, so you’ll want to make a decision that is in the best interest of all parties involved—including your organization.
Embrace Your Role
As a manager, you are in a unique position in your organization. You have been entrusted with the success and well-being of a group of people. This is a responsibility that you should not take lightly.
Because of this, you’ll want to do everything possible to prevent and resolve workplace conflict. While the above tips and tactics won’t be enough to resolve every type of conflict, they will go a long way in fostering a more positive, collaborative working environment.