Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

Synopsis

You've got one coworker storming out of another's office, two others who aren't speaking to each other, people on the same work team expressing major differences on how to get a project done...and still others, in different departments, waging a silent battle over resources. With all this workplace conflict stewing, how, as a manager, can you ensure that any work is even getting done? Whenever human beings interact, it's inevitable that conflict-when what one person wants, needs, or expects interferes with what others want, need, or expect-will bubble up to the surface...and no more so than at the office. Whatever the cause, it's your job as a manager to ensure that these ripples of discord don't lead to a lack of productivity, increased employee turnover and absenteeism, and other natural consequences of workplace friction. Conflict 101 gives you the tools you need to navigate relationships, build compromises and collaborations, and not only get your people back on track, but channel the energy of disagreements into positive results. You'll discover practical, immediately usable ways to: build trust among coworkers harness negative emotions encourage apologies and forgiveness use a solution-seeking approach to resolving employee differences and say what needs to be said in any situation involving interpersonal tension. Whether it's a disagreement about processes, factionalism over where money and staff will come from, or the byproduct of complicated relationships or differences stemming from identities or values, it's imperative that you stem the tide of conflict and keep your people focused.

Excerpt

Driving along a four-lane road several years ago, I came up over a small hill. I knew this road well, had passed this way many times. This time, I noticed a major construction project under way at the gas station on the right-hand side. Workers were digging a hole right next to the road. This hole was huge. I was amazed at how deep it was. I was fascinated.

Have I mentioned the traffic light that was some fifty feet over that rise in the road? Unfortunately, I was much more interested in the size of the hole than I was in the road. Several cars were stopped at the red light just ahead. Cruising over the hill, I smacked into a car waiting there. I rammed into that car hard enough to get the attention of the car in front of the car that I had rear-ended. Pretty soon we were all milling around the cars, inspecting the damage.

In that moment, everybody noticed me. The people in the car I hit certainly noticed me. Those in the car in front of the car I hit noticed me. The cops came very quickly—they had also noticed. Later that day, my insurance company noticed.

Since then, I have gotten my car repaired and am back on the road. What I realized then was how many cars I do not hit, and that nobody . . .

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