Conflict is a part of many workplaces, especially small businesses. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but it’s vital to be able to manage conflict and to make sure it doesn’t affect the service that you provide. After all, everybody who works at your small business is there to help you offer a professional service to your customers. If a conflict is getting in the way of your professionalism, it’s essential to have ways to deal with the problem.
To help, we’ve come up with 4 tips to help you manage conflicts that may arise. Also, using these tips will help you to prevent conflicts from happening in the first place.
1. Set up processes
It’s vital to have a robust set of processes in place to manage conflict. This will help you ensure that you’re consistent in your approach and never get caught out. It also makes sure that you treat every dispute equally and fairly.
Your processes don’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as saying that you will listen to each side individually and take detailed notes before attempting to resolve the conflict. Simply having this process and communicating it clearly to everyone in your business will help you to manage conflicts if they arise.
2. Use an understanding approach
Remember that conflict is a natural part of what happens when people are passionate about their work. Conflict often comes from a good place. People want to make your product or service as good as possible, they just may disagree about how best to do this.
It’s important to try and understand the root cause of a conflict. What’s caused the disagreement? Can it be resolved quickly or is it a more serious dispute that will need to be worked through? Answering these questions helps you to set the tone for resolving the conflict.
3. Try and solve face to face
It’s usually best to try and solve conflicts face to face. This lets you pay attention to body language and other non-verbal cues to help defuse the situation.
Give everybody involved some time to cool down before you attempt to resolve the conflict. After a day or two, get everyone in the same room to work on a resolution.
4. Focus on results
When resolving a conflict, it’s important to focus on results and progress, rather than dwelling on the past. By focusing on a progress based resolution, you’ll be able to encourage a solution to the conflict.
It’s best to align solutions with business goals to keep everyone focused on tangible objectives. This makes sure that everybody’s on the same page and aligned towards the right goals.
Use these tips to resolve conflicts in your small business. Let us know @QuotatisPro if you’ve got any other tips on remaining professional in your business!