March Madness usually means one thing: Basketball.

However, madness can hit anytime of the year – especially with your employees. We all know the importance of effective team communication, and we strive to work in a harmonious environment. But – that’s not reality, especially now. Conflict can arise between employees, employees and managers, and employees and customers. The Result? A decrease in productivity, an increase in stress/turnover, and a potentially hostile environment.

Don’t get me wrong. Conflict between employees is normal. When managed effectively, it can be positive. Uncovering an underlying issue can eliminate frustration and unveil new opportunities, while listening to alternative ideas promotes diversity and problem solving.

Conflict occurs when there’s a lack of understanding. Often, we make assumptions of how the other person is thinking and/or how they will react in a stressful situation. For example, more reserved individuals may be perceived as unapproachable or disengaged; but really, they just need more time to process the scenario, and understand the impact.

Let’s look at 4 ways your employees handle the madness, and response strategies:

Anger and Impatience – Tackling conflict head on. As their manager, you want to respect their problem-solving skills, and let them formulate the action plan.

Lack of focus and shifting blame – Allow them to verbalize their feelings and transfer the “talk” into action.

Indecisive and Avoidance- Fearing change and ignoring conflict. Allow them time to process and adjust to changes. Provide hands-on reinforcement when possible.

Critical and confrontational – The desire to be right and follow procedure. Repeat their concerns for clarity in a logical manner and allow ample time to answer questions.

So, when you find yourself at odds with a co-worker this month (and the following ones), think about why they react the way they do. Don’t try and change or “fix” them to meet your needs. Rather, accept their differences and adapt your style for a better working relationship.  

Awareness = Understanding = Success.

Sound like your team?  LET’S CHAT

If you’re ready to stop the conflict, improve the culture, AND build a high performance team, it’s YOUR lucky day! Check out my “Coaching Through Conflict” Manager Program.


Coaching through Conflict
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focus on what’s important – your BUSINESS!”
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