During turbulent times, inter-office conflict tends to be the rule rather than the exception. Now is a great time to brush up on the most effective ways to deal with it.
Here are a few tried and true tactics to keep in mind when your staffers have a beef with each other:
- Let conflict reign. This doesn’t mean allowing your office to turn into a war zone, but conflict is healthy. Trying to squash every instance of discord will only result in a back-log of ill will that could eventually run too deep to ever be resolved.
- Challenge them to argue the opposing point of view. Whether it’s a deadline dispute between you and an accountant or a grudge match between two finance staffers, ask everyone in the office to attempt to look at the problem from another vantage point. Maybe another perspective is all it takes to resolve the conflict.
- Stick to the issues. Remember that rule about letting conflict reign? Well, you can throw that right out the window the minute anything becomes personal. Bad blood caused by personal attacks between employees lasts the longest — if it goes away at all. Make it clear that you have a zero-tolerance policy against people attacking anything that isn’t directly work-related about a co-worker.
- Be honest … really honest. A good deal of conflict comes from deep-seated issues that have been built up over time. Not being completely honest with exactly what has caused you to take umbrage will just add to this.