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Article Title:
Screaming Employees? How To Effectively Resolve Conflicts In The Workplace

Article Description:
Do you have employees that are out and out fighting with each 
other at work?  Yelling, screaming, not getting along or perhaps 
has difficult relationships with their supervisor?

Additional Article Information:
974 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Wed Feb  8 02:00:55 EST 2006

Written By:     Donna Price
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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Screaming Employees? How To Effectively Resolve Conflicts In The Workplace
Copyright © 2006 Donna Price
Business Builders Intensive

Do you have employees that are out and out fighting with each 
other at work?  Yelling, screaming, not getting along or perhaps 
has difficult relationships with their supervisor?

Conflicts in the workplace happen frequently and the fallout can 
be costly to the employer and the employee.  Developing the 
skills to resolve conflicts that arise can save your company 
significant money.  First let's look at the costs:

1. Decreased productivity due to the emotions involved in 
   interpersonal conflict.

2. time lost from work by employees

3. time lost from work by managers involved in the conflict

4. recruitment and training of new employees

5. decreased productivity by other staff due to tension/stress 
   and the overall work environment

The root of many conflicts is communication: either unclear 
communication, resulting in misunderstandings.  One strategy to 
address rising incidents of conflict is communication training. 
Teaching people how to listen and how to talk clearly can prevent 
and decrease conflicts.  Communication is such a challenge.  So 
often, we feel we have been really clear, only to find out that 
the other person really misunderstood us.    Being a clear 
communicator takes commitment.  You need to be able to talk in a 
neutral sort of way, eliminating inflammatory emotions.  Speak 
from the heart and listen from the heart are good basic 
guidelines.  Beyond the basics, are to listen deeply to what the 
other person is saying and then to check-in with them.  Ask them: 
"is this what you are saying?"  It lets the person you are 
talking with know what you have understood and gives them the 
opportunity to clarify or correct misunderstandings.

What do you do when the conflicts have escalated?  Resolving 
conflicts are good for everyone involved, but sometimes it's hard 
to see that in the moment for the people directly in conflict. 
As mentioned earlier, conflict is costly.  Sometimes as the 
owner, or manager we forget that there is a great cost to us but 
also to the employee.  Changing jobs due to a conflict means a 
great deal of change for an employee.  They might not be able to 
get the same level of pay; benefits; shifts, etc that they are 
accustomed to.   The impact to the employee and their family can 
be high.

As the leader you can set-up an effective environment to resolve 
the dispute by following some simple steps and laying out a 
couple of guidelines.

First, spend time talking with each person involved.  Let them 
know that your belief is that developing a shared solution is 
important to each person and that you value each of the employees 
involved.  During the individual meetings you can begin to gather 
information about what they see as the possible solutions.  Let 
the employees know that your intent is to meet with each of them 
and then with them together, to talk about their perspective and 
possible solutions to the conflict.

Use A Simple & Effective Process:

1. Create a safe space for involved parties to talk. 
   (private, neutral)

2. Set out the guidelines: 
   * Only one person talks at a time
   * No interruptions, defending or justifying
   * Come in with an open mind, open to the possible solutions 
     and be willing to compromise.

3. Give each person an opportunity to tell their story, from their 
   perspective.  Remind the other people involved that we are each 
   listening, listening to each person's perspective.  This is a 

4. Paraphrase the stories of each person. This ensures that each 
   story has been understood.  Using phrases such as "What I am 
   hearing you say is... Is that right?"

5. After everyone has had an opportunity to tell their story, 
   brainstorm possible solutions. Again, this isn't a time to 
   judge.  Whenever you are brainstorming you want all the ideas, 
   good or bad, or out in left field.  One of them might be the 
   idea that helps someone come up with the BEST solution.

6. Identify the solutions that work for each party. Ifs important 
   that the solution is agreeable to each party and the company.  
   In order for the agreed upon solution to work and be successful, 
   you need buy in.

7. Agree to do the solution.  The last step is the key to moving 

Some Common Pitfalls:

 * Don't take sides. As the manager your interest is the company, 
   the resolution of the conflict and each employee.
 * Don't mandate a solution; you want the staff invested in the 

What Do You Do If Staffs Refuse To Participate In Conflict 

Offering staffs the opportunity to resolve conflict is a much 
better option than being disciplined, having supervisor mandated 
solutions or taking no action at all.  When staffs refuse to 
cooperate or participate, its time to talk with them about your 
company policies, their personal responsibility for their 
behavior and actions and your responsibility as the owner or 
manager to take actions based on their behavior.  The intent of 
this type of conversation isn't to threaten disciplinary action, 
but to talk about the reality of the situation and the need to 
resolve it. Each individual makes choices, as supervisors our 
actions are based upon the behaviors and actions of the employee. 
As the supervisor you are encouraging good choice making, but the 
reality is that some people will make a poor choice and choose 
to continue to act in ways that are not acceptable in your 
workplace.  In these situations you must then follow your 
organizations policies as outlined for your employees in the 
employee handbook.  Resolving the conflict and creating a good 
work environment for everyone is my first choice as the 

Conflicts in the workplace can be successfully resolved, by 
listening. Giving each person space to tell their story validates 
them and communicates to them their value to you and the 
organization.  Using the simple process outlined keeps you moving 
in a positive direction.

Donna Price, President of Compass Rose Consulting, LLC, provides 
business coaching to business owners/leaders, and work teams; 
using her experience as a senior level manager for 18+ years and 
extensive background working with people to achieve their goals.  
The Business Builders Intensive, a comprehensive tele-seminar 
series focused on building your business and your success is 
her newest program.; 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]; 973-948-7673



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