A business can have an excellent idea for a product or service. However, if the business is not managed well, it will surely fail. A business without effective management is like a ship without a captain. Management skills also rarely come naturally to people. Instead, they are skills that must be learned. One thing good managers must absolutely know how to do is manage conflict. Below are four conflict management strategies that all managers should be sure to know.

Recognize Differences of Opinion

One mistake many people make is assuming that differences of opinion are a kind of conflict that should be removed from a team. However, having everyone on a team with the same exact opinion is actually unhealthy. Differences of opinion being looked down upon tends to create groupthink. Groupthink is harmful and can have disastrous unintended consequences. Instead, healthy debate and constructive criticism should be encouraged.

Organization through Collaboration Tools

One excellent way for employees to work out their differences is through the use of digital collaboration tools. Being able to collaborate digitally can help remove some of the tension that may exist between certain employees. Make sure to oversee the digital collaboration to ensure that employees that have butted heads before are able to contribute to the same project without conflict.

There are also different collaboration software packages for different industries. In the healthcare industry, you may want to try aggregate spending software to install collaboration that can work with you HCP database. Similarly other industries have software to help manage employees.

Encourage Independent Conflict Resolution

You are probably familiar with children who bicker with siblings. When the parent swoops in and tries to resolve a conflict, it never actually gets resolved. Instead, the rivalry becomes even worse than before.

You can think of a manager’s role in conflict resolution between coworkers similarly. Trying to micromanage the problems that arise between coworkers may not have the intended result. Instead, when you can, encourage them to solve these problems and resolve their conflicts on their own. Actually working out their differences without the solution being imposed from above tends to work better.

Maintain Neutrality

As a manger, maintaining neutrality and the perception of neutrality in regards to your employees is crucial. The workplace should be a meritocracy. The only thing that matters is performance and results. However, if you are perceived as taking sides when there is conflict between employees, this can quickly create a toxic workplace. Try to resolve conflicts as impartially as possible.

Resolving conflict between employees may be one of the most difficult management tasks for many. However, if you implement the correct strategies, you can resolve conflict in your workplace much more easily. Doing so will increase productivity and your bottom line.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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