Here are a few strategies you can use to resolve conflict between co-workers.
Set clear expectations – Make it clear that you expect a culture of respect in your workplace, where behavior such as shouting, rudeness, and name-calling is unacceptable. When your employees know in advance this behavior will not be tolerated, they are more likely to work out disagreements in a constructive manner.
Employ ‘active listening’ – Prior to sitting the employees down to hash out their dispute, stress the importance of ‘active listening’ to each of them. Insist they actually listen when the other party is speaking, rather than formulating a rebuttal in their head, and repeat back the opposition’s main points to ensure they hear and understand their side of things.
Get a change of scenery – A great way to diffuse a tense situation is to leave the scene of the crime. Take both of your employees to a neutral location to work things out. An off-site lunch on the company dime is a much more informal backdrop that is often better suited for resolving a conflict.
Conflict in the workplace may be unavoidable, but failing to effectively resolve it is an impediment to productivity and staff morale.