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    Stay Calm and Conflict On: Harness the power of workplace conflict.
    The Vault

    Stay Calm and Conflict On: Harness the power of workplace conflict.

    April 2016

    April is our busiest month here at BGW (hello, April tax deadline).  The good news is that we’re a family and we work together like a family.  The bad news is that we can get on each other’s nerves like family (I kid).  We’ve been through this many times before and we know we’ll come out stronger on the other side.  But just how are we getting through these hectic days?

    In any organization, there will be conflict. Our culture tends to shy away from that, but conflict in the workplace is a healthy and positive thing for your company. It’s true! It means you have a variety of personality types on your team, each with their own way of approaching problems and solving them.  Not only that, but all of these different people are working passionately to ensure your business’ success.  That’s good stuff.

    Still, knowing how to channel opinions, get to the bottom of issues, and move forward is key.  Here are five simple tips on having a healthy conflict -- to remember as yourself and as leader of your company -- without disrupting the core of your organization.

    1. Change your perspective.  See conflict as an opportunity to gain understanding.  Be open to it rather than threatened by it.  We are conditioned to “be nice”, to shy away from conflict and just let it go.  Unfortunately, this causes pressure to build and resentment to linger.  As the leader of your company, you must embrace conflict and work to resolve it immediately.  
    2. Be a grown up.  Maintain your professionalism by controlling your emotions, body language, use of sarcasm, and strong words.  Show respect to your colleagues.  Make your points based on the facts at hand, not your emotions.  
    3. Don’t fight to be “right”.  See the goal of the conflict as gaining understanding and moving forward in a way that’s best for the company, not proving your point.   Ask questions and genuinely care about understanding someone else’s viewpoint. This is a learning moment for all parties involved. Present your solutions but be prepared to learn new information that will present additional opportunities.
    4. Be the leader.  Not everyone on your team will play by the rules.  Mitigate poor behavior immediately.  Table the conversation if an overall cool-down period is necessary.  
    5. Leave the agenda on your desk.  You need to leave the floor open for all parties to have a chance to speak. If an agenda is present, people will feel as if they are under attack and go into defensive mode.  Conflict resolution must evolve naturally.

    Good leaders know what workplace conflict is normal.  Truly successful business owners   and managers know how to manage that conflict and turn it into something constructive.  Embrace the conflict at hand and know, like us, that even better days are ahead.

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