As a founder, when things get out of hand, you must take it upon yourself to get things in control. If you have employees who are involved in a disagreement, conflict, or argument, here are some tips on how to take control of your team and resolve those issues:
Set-up a meeting with both parties
Never meet with each individual separately – this allows them to give their own versions of the story, in which they’re almost always right. It gives each person a chance to cut out certain details or add some without giving the other party a chance to defend themselves.
Even before the meeting starts, make sure you stress that you aren’t taking sides. By explicitly doing so, you give both parties the assurance that you’re looking at things from an impartial perspective.
Ask for commitment
The most important thing you can ask from the individuals in conflict is resolving the argument as adults. Committing to treating each other with the utmost respect all throughout the dialogue will be helpful as well. These parameters should be enforced by the mediator.
Stay positive throughout the process
In times like these, in which stress levels are high, it would be best to feed off of each others’ energy. Try to keep an upbeat and encouraging demeanor throughout the meeting.
Mediating is one thing, but resolving the conflict is another. Now that both sides have calmed down and committed, coming to a mutually beneficial solution will be much easier.
Narrow it down
Ask both parties to find common ground. Brainstorm solutions together and have both individuals agree on one solution. Remember: compromising is key.
Close the meeting on a good note
Ask the participants to shake hands. Though considered a small gesture, in this case, a little goes a long way.
Who says it has to be a formal, sit down meeting? Why not ease the tension by grabbing some drinks? In fact, Levo League, a New York based company that provides young professionals career advice, released a study that determined that “meeting up for drinks is a great time to build relationships with people you wouldn’t normally interact with in the office, and talk about something other than how stressed you are about deadlines.”
Acting as the mediator can be a difficult task. You want all of your employees to be happy and comfortable in the working environment. Conflict can have a negative impact on the company. Coworkers do not have to be friends, but they should always have mutual respect for each other. To recognize the signs of conflict in your business, read part 1. You can learn more about how to prevent conflict in the first place when part three is published later this month.