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Confront a source of conflict

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace, but when one employee seems to be the cause of several people’s anger and frustration, what do you do? Use this strategy:

Meet privately with the employee. Explain that it’s come to your attention that the employee is struggling to get along with other employees and that you want to make him or her aware of certain behaviors that are damaging his or her work relationships.

Provide feedback about the person’s actions and how those actions are affecting others. If the employee wants to know who complained, simply say, “That is not important. What is important is that we all work together.” Then make suggestions about how the person can improve.

Note: If the issue involves sexual harassment, bullying or some other serious offense, involve your HR department or legal team before discussing the issue with the employee.

— Adapted from “5 Difficult Conversations Managers Hate to Have,” Lisa Evans, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.

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