As an entrepreneur, you are bound to find yourself facing personality clashes at one point, be it something as small as someone playing music too loudly to really big issues like rumors and accusations. Generally, people will be civil and work together despite their differences, but sometimes issues are such that they cannot find a common ground and you will need to intercede.
Below are a few MOBE training tips that will help you prevent conflict, and tackle it in a manner that will satisfy both parties and resolve the situation.
1) Define Acceptable Behavior
Defining what is acceptable and unacceptable in the company is a positive step towards preventing conflict. Create a framework for decision making that will outline behaviors in line with the company’s rules and regulations. Also outline a delegation of authority statement, encourage sound business practices and collaborations, and reward excellent teamwork.
Clearly define job descriptions so that people know what is expected of them, and state clearly the chain of command to allow for effective communication. Make sure all employees are well aware of what will and will not be tolerated. This will clear up any confusion and misinterpretations that may lead to conflict.
2) Approach the Situation with an Open Mind
Be neutral and consider both points of view. If an employee reports an issue with another, call them both and listen to each side of the story without taking preference. Take an objective look and try to understand how each of the parties feel. Pay attention to each party’s queries and ask questions. Acknowledge the emotions both parties feel, but focus on the issue needing resolution.
3) Deal with Facts, not Emotions
Acknowledging emotions does not mean focusing on them. It means accepting that people are angry, unhappy, etc., and realizing that the emotions are just a byproduct of the problem. Address the problem, not emotions. Avoid the tendency to attack personalities or pass judgement on characters. Attacking someone’s character will only cause defensiveness and have people take offense, and that will only escalate the conflict. Approach the issue with a rational, goal oriented frame of mind, which will depersonalize the conflict and separate the issue from the people involved.
Conflict is a normal part of any organizational setting; the challenge of conflict lies in how it is handled. If it’s concealed or ignored, conflict is only likely to fester and grow into hostile working environments where employees can’t perform at their best potential. You should take conflict as an opportunity to grow. Provide a platform to reflect and readjust after one occurs. Doing this trains employees to face future difficulties with ease and effectiveness.