Nobody likes conflict, but if you’re a CEO, founder or manager, you’ll have to deal with it. Advisory Board offered up some tips on workplace conflict management, and asked me to contribute my best advice. First, pinpoint the cause of the problem (it’s not always obvious). It might be a lack of resources, too much pressure, or groups simply being together too much. Next, make sure lines of communication are open. Managers should be moderators in this instance and actively listen.
When resolving conflict, remind everyone that the company comes first. Individuals can’t do the work of a team, and everyone has at least a single thing in common: The company. If a conclusion can’t be met, work towards a compromise. Also, if the conversation drags on, you can always encourage the group to talk outside the office. Bonding time, perhaps in a happy hour environment, can help everyone see from different perspectives.
However, be careful because you don’t want the group to spend too much time together. Teamwork has boundaries, and everyone needs time away from “work life.” If all else fails, move the team members around. Just like in school, this can often do the trick. No matter what you do, avoid punishment and threats.
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