The tips are as follows:
- Recognize that disputes can't be avoided.
- Step in early.
- Don't just tell people to get over it.
- Make each person acknowledge the other.
- Focus on expectations.
- Tell them to come up with a solution.
- Assist them is articulating a plan.
- Skirt instincts to separate the warring parties. (Force them to work together on a project.)
- Unite them in solving a crisis bigger than their argument.
- Invest in personality assessments such as Myers Briggs. (Actually, this can work.)
- Create a process for dealing with the conflict.
Very useful information. Actually, there is another option depending on what level in the organization the warring parties may work. The alternate approach is one that was taken by the first hospital CEO with whom I worked. There were two warring Assistant Administrators, aka VPs, who had offices next to each other. One was young, easy going and certainly an up-and-comer in the organization. The other was older, retired military and much more autocratic in his approach with everyone. The two were constantly arguing about pretty much everything......they were like oil and water.
Finally, the CEO called them both into his office and told them that he had no time and little patience for their constant feuding. He told them, "If the two of you can't solve this problem, I will. If you can't figure how to work together, I will summarily fire one of you and the other will not be far behind." The feuding continued and a week after the CEO warned them, he fired the older one and told the up-and-comer to begin looking for another job. The CEO told them both, "If I have to deal with this problem, it will end badly for the both of you." Damn, if it didn't.
In the article, there are three case examples of how three CEOs dealt with conflicts involving their employees. The information is useful and the strategies taken appear to be beneficial; however, I still like my first CEO's approach. There is little time in one's day to have to deal with conflict resolution. We are adults; figure out how to deal with each other to get the job done. If your boss has to constantly play referee, I can assure you that the situation will eventually end badly for the warring parties.