Conflict Resolution Tips For Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, there is a lot to worry about when it comes to employees. In fact, one thing that we don’t even think of is conflict resolution. As much as we want them to, people just aren’t always going to get along. Whether the issue is between you and an employee or between two of your employees, don’t be part of the 43% of business owners whose employees don’t think they deal with conflict properly. Here’s some conflict resolution tips to help you get on track. These are good practices to memorize and use whenever you have problems at work.
Make Sure Both Sides of the Conflict Feel They are Heard
One of the biggest reasons conflicts escalate is because one side feels that the other is getting more attention or consideration than they are. Both sides have to feel as those their voice is equally important in this dispute, even if the dispute is between you as the manager and one of your employees. To combat this problem, make sure everyone gets equal time to speak up as needed. You may want to do this with a formal meeting, either together or separately. Just make sure both parties feel like they have been able to express their concerns.
Do Some Digging and Find Out Why the Conflict Occurred
Every conflict will have an inciting event. Tracing the conflict back to this event can be one of the best ways to resolve it. This may require you to bring in parties not directly involved in the conflict in order to get their perspective.
Call Both Parties In for a Negotiation
In general, both sides of the conflict will want some sort of resolution, but the type of resolution they want will not always coincide. You will have to talk to both parties and see what outcome they desire and discuss why one or both cannot have what they want and what they might be willing to settle for instead.
There are likely to be tense emotions in the mix when it comes to a conflict, even if both parties say there are none. You have to be patient enough to let both sides cool down. Not giving them time to think about the situation rationally can just stir up further problems.
Do What is Best for the Business
This can be one of the hardest things to do, especially if your employees have been with you for a long time. A small personal conflict can engulf the entire business, killing productivity and even drawing a line between different factions in your company. What might be best for the business is letting go of one or both of the employees who are causing the issue. This might not always be the case, but it could be, which means you need to be prepared to do it.