Are You Making These Four Mistakes in Your Conflict Resolution Strategies?
You have well-designed, measurable objectives for the year that will help you meet your goals. They’re being tracked on a dashboard that tells you how you are making progress on those objectives and what you still need to accomplish this year. It would seem that you’re positioned for a great year.
However, those objectives are still being carried out by people, and we know that wherever there are people, there is the potential for conflict. Managers like you need effective (but not overcomplicated) conflict resolution strategies to keep your team on track.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are planning conflict resolution strategies for your team:
- Mistake: Overdoing it with positive reinforcement can backfire. Positive reinforcement is your best asset, but it can present its own challenges. Surprisingly, while positive reinforcement helps you communicate to your team that they are exhibiting the behaviors you want, you can also unintentionally reinforce behaviors that are undesirable in an employee. Conflict can be fueled by positive reinforcement, because employees that are disagreeing may actually feel encouraged to continue in their conflict. It may be a sympathetic coworker or another kind of attention, but the message from you must be clear: conflict resolution is the goal. (Extra attention for bad behavior isn’t the goal).
- Mistake: Avoiding an intentional focus on behaviors in the workplace. Listen to the story once, but the repetition that often occurs in a workplace conflict should be replaced by healthy conversations about behaviors. Help the employees involved in the conflict identify the specific words, facial expressions or gestures that triggered an emotional response. Talk about the behaviors that can trigger challenges, and then agree upon which should be changed.
- Mistake: Looking behind instead of ahead. When your employees are attempting to resolve a conflict, it is human nature to keep noticing mistakes and ignore the progress being made. Employees should be reminded that the history of the conflict cannot be changed, but that they have all the power and tools necessary to change the relationship in the future. Present a “start today” perspective.
- Mistake: Not bringing talent management decisions into your plans for success, alongside data about behavioral strengths. Using a behavioral assessment, you can use real, actual behavioral data to create highly effective teams that work together with lower levels of conflict. A behavioral assessment provides reliable predictors of not only job performance in a particular role, but also critical information about how a candidate would function in your company culture and alongside team members already in place.
PI Consulting Group has the tools you need to develop reliable conflict resolution strategies by focusing on understanding specific behaviors and strengths. You can end the cycle of conflict in your workplace with the right knowledge and a change in focus. Call us to set up an initial meeting, and we’ll talk about how you move forward for success form here.