April 2009

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When employees don't get along

Your employees are not always going to agree with one another. Following are some tips for mediating employee disputes:

  • Listen closely to both sides. Try to clear your mind of distractions. Don't think ahead about what you will say, and concentrate on employees' words and nonverbal communication.

  • Acknowledge the disagreement. Fighting employees may never reach an agreement, but your acknowledgement of both employees' feelings may help reduce their anger.

  • Respond calmly. Even if you agree with one employee, don't attack the opposing one. Remember to criticize the idea, not the individual.

  • Resolve the argument. After both employees have explained their sides, identify what is causing the disagreement. Break the problem into manageable parts, and work together with the employees to generate a solution.
Source: Adapted from The Motivational Manager, March issue


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