Making small talk with any person whose personality is any shade brighter than a brick wall isn’t difficult. Talking to anybody for a relatively short period of time isn’t challenging, either – even if the behavioral differences between two people are substantial. However, when people are forced to work around one another for most days of the year at the minimum rate of 40 hours per week, they are many times more likely to grow tired of one another.
Behavioral differences – subtle, major, and moderate variances between the way people act and think – are ultimately what stir up conflicts in the workplace. If Charlie and Anna don’t like each other but work at the same business, they most likely would mutually separate from one another to make each of their lives easier. However, there are many, many reasons why a supervisor, manager, or owner might ask Charlie and Anna to work together.
Even then – what if Charlie tried to stay out of Anna’s way, but Anna was rude or tried to pick fights with Charlie? There’s not much Charlie could do to mitigate Anna’s annoying, rude behaviors or separate himself from her. As such, managers need to be trained in the employment of conflict management strategies to squash beef as soon as possible and generally improve workplace productivity.
Conflict management strategies – coming right up!
Managers inherently command the respect of their subordinates – at least if those managers are worth their weight in salt – but barging in between a group in the workplace to apply a conflict management strategy isn’t a good idea.
Identifying opportunities to help people get along via the tried-and-true conflict management protocol is the most important step of the process.
Workplaces perform many times better when their constituents regularly provide others with feedback. Such feedback helps nip disagreements rooted in behavioral differences in the proverbial bud.
Never, ever conclude anything until the end of both sides’ views have been heard. Jumping to conclusions does more than not help the situation – wrongful conclusions harm them.
Make sure to resolve conflicts – or at least try to resolve conflicts – in person. Doing so through email, text message, or other electronic communications is difficult and can appear passive aggressive.