How to manage an ‘Erin Brockovich’

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in Your Office Coach

Conflict happens in all corners of the workplace. But if issues aren't settled, bad things can happen: Good people quit, morale can plummet and, sometimes, violence can erupt.

But supervisors and managers don't need to become certified mediators to engage in workplace conflict resolution. You just need to understand some basics about human behavior, practice the fine art of paying attention and offer yourself as a neutral party who wants to resolve the problem.

Here are nine insights and tricks of the trade, according to the book Improvisational Negotiation, by Jeffrey Krivis:

1. Let people tell their story. When people are deeply upset about something, they need to get their story out. This is a basic principle of mediation and one that's important to remember.

Yes, allowing people to speak their minds can increase the level of conflict with which you must deal. That's OK. You have to get through the conflict phase ...(register to read more)

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