Talk to any start-up girlboss entrepreneur and they’ll tell you the biggest stressor in their businesses are workplace conflicts. Let’s face it, people are the biggest factors in play to help your start-up thrive, but also the messiest parts of business that we would rather not deal with.
Conflict is usually exhausting, intimidating, and stress-inducing. However, it is also an entirely natural part of any human relationship. If you learn to manage it with compassion and empathy, conflict can even strengthen your relationship as a team.
Here are 3 simple and straightforward ways to address workplace conflict with compassion:
1. Don’t put it off
Sometimes you can’t make sense of the timing these friction and issues spring up, but most of the time, it’s directly related to a stressor within the business. Conflicts usually arise when the team needs to make a big decision or when we have to chase a tight deadline.
When we find ourselves in the middle of these situations, our natural reaction is to just push off conflict resolution until you get the work done – because “ain’t nobody got time for that.” But one thing you’ll quickly find out is that if you don’t address the conflict right away, your work efficiency suffers. Communication breaks down, team dynamics dissipate, and that’s just not going to do anyone good.
So the next time you encounter conflict, sit down and talk it out immediately in calm, collected, professional tones. Be an emphatic listener and find the best, rational way to resolve your workplace tensions without stepping on anyone’s toes.
2. Treat people well
Regardless of what business space you are in, it is important to build and maintain friendships with your workmates. Knowing them as people on a personal level will help you understand where you’re at in your business relationship. People with bad days at home translate the same energy at work. It’s helpful to know who’s getting married, who’s traveling, and how everyone’s doing outside work in general. Staying on top of people’s lives helps you know when to push or pull back on their workloads – and keep your team happy and appreciated overall.
Let people be people. Allow them to have emotions and feelings and accept that these things make them better teammates.
3. Find a way to arrive at a common conclusion
Girlbosses don’t walk away from a conflict without solving it. While it’s near impossible to have everyone agree on every single point, you have to agree on a way to move forward. Bringing someone neutral in your meetings, for example, might help you make more sound business decisions without personal biases. The role of the mediator is to draw the line and give everyone a gentle push towards a resolution or a compromise, that will benefit the majority.
These tips appeared originally on Forbes.com. Read the full article here.
Did you encounter any workplace conflict recently? How did you manage it? Let us know in the comments below!