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Coach staff to resolve conflicts

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

Conflict resolution is often considered a hierarchical function, especially in larger organizations. Employees, and sometimes whole teams, learn to rely on managers or supervisors to resolve internal conflicts instead of finding their own solutions.

The next time you build a training or team-building exercise, focus it on coaching employees to tackle conflict resolution themselves.

Small-business blogger Daniela Baker suggests working directly with employees or teams to develop resolution strategies and then role-playing various conflicts with them to troubleshoot and refine the algorithm.

“While it may be necessary for you … to mediate these sessions at first, the goal is to develop the ability of team members to resolve conflicts among themselves,” says Baker.

Giving employees a chance to build the process themselves encourages behavior that relies less on your influence and more on a shared desire to handle issues as a team.

— Adapted from “7 Ways to Encourage Teamwork in Your Small Business,” Daniela Baker, Talking Small Biz blog, www.talkingsmallbiz.com.

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