conflict bulbAs a director or manager, do you always have the best ideas and are always correct  when it comes to projects and or decisions related to your organization?  Depending on how you answer that question, it may provide some insight to your success and or challenges in supervising staff.  A study by Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College indicated that 44% of the managers who responded to the survey spend 20% of their time handling work related conflict; that is 8 hours of a 40 hour work week.

Conflicts within the work place does not have to be viewed as a negative thing that results in time wasted, hurt feelings, destructive behavior and a change of or loss of employment for staff.  An organization that has ways to address conflict in a positive way is usually emotionally healthier, have more productive staff and have a greater diversity of ideas than agencies that avoid conflict at all cost.
Here are just a few ways to foster an environment where work conflict can be beneficial and productive:

  • Let staff know that it is okay to have differences of opinions and healthy debates over those differences.
  • Emphasize the common goals of the project and expectations of all parties involved.
  • Increase communication skills;verbal and listening.  Use “I” statements and truly try to empathize with the other person.
  • Provide staff with training on healthy conflict resolution and problem solving skills; please include management in training.
  • Institute behavioral consequences for those who are truly uncooperative employees.
  • Have a zero tolerance for threatening or violent behavior.

Conflict will arise at your organization.  How you handle the conflicts will make the difference on positive progress or an environment of negativity and unhappy and unproductive employees.
To provide insight to this discussion, please use the comment box below.  Here is a list of a few resources regarding conflict resolutions:
Understanding Conflict in the Workplace
Ten Tips to Encourage Meaningful Conflict
Resolving Workplace Conflict
Types of Conflict in the Workplace
Capitalize on Healthy Conflict