About 2 weeks ago, I went to get a haircut in my second choice barber shop (My favourite barber was out of town) it was a funny experience. One of the barbers had a misunderstanding with receptionist and my haircut that normally take about 20 to 25 minutes took an hour that day as the barber was shaving and quarreling with the receptionist at the same time. My efforts to get him concentrate on my haircut were futile. The conflicts included insults, non-cooperation, bullying and anger
My disappointment is with the immediate supervisor’s inability to calm down the conflicts between the staff and have them focus on the customers present. The truth is she had no conflict resolution and negotiation skill.
Internal conflicts between functional staff poorly managed in an organisation can cause the following
– Effectiveness is reduced (Took me one 1 hour to get a haircut)
– Customers satisfaction is severely affected (As I was annoyed 3 other clients were pissed off)
– Team work becomes difficult
– Violence (The male barber almost slapped the female receptionist)
Conflicts in a small businesses or startups and even bigger businesses are inevitable but that does not mean conflicts should not be managed. Poor conflict management skills can kill your business or negatively affect the business (clients) like in the above case. It is the responsibility of the business owner, entrepreneur, executive or direct supervisors to master the art of conflict resolutions in the work place with speed and maturity.
One of the best ways to prevent or minimize conflicts like these is to develop the culture of strong employee relations which include fairness, trust and mutual respect at all levels. These seem so easy but difficult to develop the culture (Am available as a top notch corporate trainer to deliver this training in your organisation).
What you should do immediately as an entrepreneur or small business owner when conflict arise between your staff
1. Do not ignore the conflict, take steps immediately to prevent
2. Carefully understand the emotions of each team member then you attempt to solve the conflict
3. Train your team members on emotional intelligence and mutual respect
4. Develop a clear official document stating the sanctions awaiting any staff who is part of any conflicts that affect customers satisfaction
As an entrepreneur, executive, leader, conflicts should prompt the modification of policies and operation procedures in the organization.
Keep building, keep shining, keep going
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