Five Types of Conflict Resolution Strategies
by Erin Schreiner, Demand Media
Often, conflict arises simply due to a lack of communication. If you feel that your employees are having conflict because they are not talking with each other, set up time for a discussion. Encourage the employees to talk through the problem, particularly if you suspect that it simply stems from the fact that they have failed to communicate effectively up to this point.
If an issue has escalated or one of the employees has a hot temper, written communication may be a more effective way of breaking down the wall and resolving conflict. Ask each employee to write a letter to the other, outlining the problem. By writing letters instead of talking face to face they benefit from the opportunity to more carefully select their words. They can also make sure that the exchange doesn’t erupt into a yelling match. Additionally, letter writing provides a means to document this communication easily.
Sometimes, two individuals in conflict simply can’t work it out together without the aid of a third party. If your workers’ conflict has escalated to the point where outside intervention is necessary, set up a mediation session. Train a staff member in the art of mediation. Allow this staffer to sit down with the feuding individuals and assist them in working through their problems in a productive manner.
Ask each person to give a little and take a little by arranging a compromise between the two. Ask both of the members to come to your offer and talk the problem through with them, presenting potential compromises and allowing them to mull these options over. By arranging a compromise instead of just selecting one member’s interests over the other, you can reduce the likelihood that one staff member feels slighted by the way in which the conflict was resolved.
If you simply must put conflict to bed, voting can be an effective method. If, for example, two employees are arguing over a potential advertising campaign or other business endeavors, set up a vote and allow other employees to weigh in. The numbers will solve the conflict and serve as a once-and-for-all answer.