Manager ≠ Office Therapist (It’s True. We Did the Math.)
OK. We didn’t actually do the math. This is an HR blog, not an accounting blog, after all. But we have looked into workplace conflict and employee motivation issues quite a bit and have something to say about them. Starting with this:
You didn’t come this far in your career to become the office therapist.
Did we just hear a few “amen”s from somewhere out in cyberspace? Yes, we do understand your pain. Perhaps some of these work team scenarios sound familiar to you:
|➤||Overly emotional comments and suggestions from individuals
|➤||Someone attacks someone else’s idea before they are even finished speaking
|➤||Team members stubbornly taking sides and refusing to compromise|
|➤||Subtle personal attacks between employees
Now that we’ve reminded you of some of your worst office horror stories, let’s talk about ways to deal with them that won’t give you an ulcer.
Unfortunately, every employer will eventually run into some form of workplace conflict. Sometimes we may get so busy and wrapped up in work that we don’t recognize conflict exists until a problem reaches crisis levels. Or, for whatever reason, we may turn a blind eye to conflict between individual employees and hope it just all blows over. But the truth is, if conflict is not addressed properly so that everyone can move forward, it can have disastrous effects on your company’s productivity, morale and bottom line.
As the team leader, you set the conflict-resolution tone. Is it time to step up your efforts? Take this tip from our most recent ebook, Build Your Best Team Ever…And Keep It Going Strong!:
Resist the natural urge to ignore or avoid reacting to conflict. That’s right…face it head on!
Here’s a huge take-home message about conflict resolution in the workplace: While it may feel easier to deny conflict than confront it, resolving conflict constructively by confronting it early on is actually the easiest and most effective way to deal with it.
Let that sink in a moment.
If you get nothing else out of this step, we hope that last point gets cemented into your management style. It will save you a ton of drama, aggravation and time. That’s because during the early stage of conflict you can focus on the factual issues of the conflict before the emotional ones have time to fester. You won’t have to deal with residual issues and arguments if they don’t have time to develop. What’s more, you make a clear point that bickering and complaining have no place on your team if you directly deal with crisis and then move on.
You don’t have to be a therapist (or accountant) to see how moving on to better, more positive and productive tasks is in your company’s best interest.
|➤||Get the results you want from the feedback you give—good or bad!
|➤||Deal with team whiners, gossips, melodramatic attention seekers and other distracting personalities on your team.
|➤||Work painless conflict resolution into your team culture.|
|➤||Stop wasting your valuable time playing therapist, referee, judge and/or jury over minor workplace issues.
|➤||Create a healthier, happier, more productive and valuable team that can focus its energy and talents on making your company successful.|