Three Tips to Help Team Members Overcome Conflict

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Conflict between employees will impact productivity and team morale.  Leaders need to learn how to correct people problems in a way that minimizes recurrence. Many leaders and people in general don’t like conflict and the tendency is to avoid it. However, when you’ve got two team members on your team in a heated argument, you’re going to need to take control of the situation and ultimately try to resolve it. The following three tips will help you influence actions that will produce positive results.

#1 – Diffuse the Emotion
Emotion trumps logic.  People can’t logically solve a problem when they’re emotional, so your first task as a leader is to separate the team members in order to give them the time they need to calm down. It might even be necessary to send one employee home for the balance of the shift, or both.  Don’t send them away at the same time because you don’t want a fist fight breaking out in the parking lot.

#2 – Listen to the Perspective
Meet with each person individually to find out what caused the problem.  Listen to each individual’s perspective of the situation that preceded the conflict.Discuss a potential solution with each team member. The final step is to get them back together to work out a way that they can get the work done without conflict. Team members don’t have to love one another but they do need to work together.

#3 – Final Resolution
Get agreement from both team members that the unacceptable behaviors won’t continue and explain the consequences if they do. This could include disciplinary action or termination. Most conflicts don’t resolve on their own; therefore, your role as the leader is to help team members  overcome the conflict and develop a mutual understanding of how to work together. Handling shop floor conflict comes with the territory for front line leaders.  We can help you.  Visit us online for more resources:

Action you can take:
Develop the leadership skills that front line supervisors, team leaders and managers need to improve safety, productivity and quality, while maximizing the involvement of all team members. Whether you need foundational skills or a specialized workshop, reach out and start a conversation today.

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