Conflict Resolution Day: How to Resolve Conflict

by: admin , October 16, 2014

Conflict ManagementThe Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) created Conflict Resolution Day to promote awareness of the myriad ways available to resolve conflict. Ostensibly created for resolving personal relationship conflicts, the special day has just as much pertinence for solving conflicts in the workplace.

We avoid conflict like the plague in the workplace. Managers duck into conference rooms whenever they see conflict approaching in the hallway. Workers shun conflict in lieu of sharing gossip that saps the energy out of a workplace.

Many small business owners push the mantra that conflict is evil, when instead they should view it as a way to strengthen our professional relationships and our career as a whole. This does not mean we should always be on the prowl for a fight at work. Entrepreneurs just need to know how to resolve conflict, not avoid it.

Let’s look at a few time-tested tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs to resolve workplace conflicts:

Sooner than Later. Conflicts that fester over extended periods rarely end up presenting a favorable outcome. The most important way to solve workplace conflicts is to address the conflict, before it morphs into a raging inferno. Conflicts do not blow over, as many small business owners prefer. An entrepreneur who sees a conflict brewing needs to step in and start the resolution process. Conflicts are not the problem at work; conflict escalation is what destroys employee morale.

Communication Breakdown. Small business owners and entrepreneurs know that conflict results from poor communication. One of the best entrepreneur tools to use promotes a work environment that encourages team members to speak out about what bothers them. Implementing an “open door” policy can be a tried and true way to ensure open communication among all team members. Unequivocal and timely workplace communication either eliminates or reduces the severity of conflicts.

Clearly Define Appropriate Behavior. Small business heroes never hit the panic button during conflicts because they establish acceptable workplace behavior. An entrepreneur who wants to prevent workplace conflict must establish concise behavior standards, from social media communication to basic employee manual stuff such as the use of profanity or jokes that could be offensive.

Treat Conflict as an Opportunity. Small business owners and entrepreneurs understand that properly resolving customer complaints leads to long-term business growth. You should hold the same principle close to your small business vision by embracing conflict as a way to strengthen your operation. Conflicts that you help resolve properly not only provide you with more team member loyalty, but the resolutions also build relationships between the aggrieved employees.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs win the gold medal for quickly resolving workplace conflicts. Remember to promote communication, define appropriate behavior, and treat conflict as an opportunity on Conflict Resolution Day.


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