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Most managers build their teams based on what they look for personally in employees, and while those employees will certainly have that in common, they may not always see eye to eye. Anything more serious than office banter should be addressed immediately though, as no good ever comes from unresolved conflict. Here are some ways to approach intradepartmental disagreements…
- Identify the cause
Is the issue personal or project-related? Are people no longer communicating effectively? Is there a deeper emotional issue at play? It’s your responsibility as a leader to answer these questions, so you can put a plan of action in place. Talk to each person separately to ascertain what’s happened from their perspective. Just remember to keep an open mind – taking sides won’t help matters.
- Tackle the issue head on
Once you’ve established what’s at play, invite the parties to a private room so they can air their grievances properly. Now is the time for your conflict resolution skills to come into practice. Give each person the opportunity to explain what’s bothering them and why, but mediate if things get heated. This is about balance, fairness and, ultimately, finding a compromise.
- Put new processes in place
Maintain the happiness and productivity of your team members by advising on what to do if another problem arises. With so many characters involved in a company’s operation, it’s inevitable that some disagreements will occur. Your job is to give them tools they need to discuss these differences in a healthy way.