I have seen my fair share and somewhat ashamed to say that I myself have been involved in a few conflicts in the workplace. Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and no matter where you go it will happen. The key is to understand how to approach the issue at hand without making it look like it is a win/lose situation.

Here are a few guidelines I found to help work out behavioral issues with your staff members:

  • Don’t negotiate when angry.
  • Forget the past and stay in the present.
  • Focus on the problem not the person.
  • Communicate feelings assertively, NOT aggressively. Express concerns without blaming the other side.
  • Expect and accept another’s right to disagree. Don’t push or force compliance; work to develop common agreement.
  • Don’t view the situation as a competition where one has to win and the other has to lose. Work toward a solution where both parties have some of their needs met.
  • Build ‘power with’ NOT ‘power over’ others.
  • Thank the person for listening.

Knowing how to work with conflict in the workplace will help your staff maintain harmony and self-control.