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Table of Contents

Lead Story

The payments sphere 2009:
Looking back, looking up

News

Industry Update

Radiant, Computer World in the lawsuit soup

Mobile payments at a crossroads

Tweaking interchange down under

NEAA preview

Features

GS Advisory Board:
The best moves of 2009 - Part II

The payments industry numbers game:
Volume over price

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Mercator of good cheer about gift cards

Unbanked + underbanked Americans top 60 million

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Signs of the future

Views

Reaching the unbanked

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Should you buy stock in a terminal manufacturer?

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Time management for 2010

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Fighting the payment squeeze:
Alternatives retailers may consider

Pat Morgan
Total System Services Inc.

Fees you can't ignore

Ken Musante
Moneris Solutions

Managing conflict in the workplace

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Defining global processing

Caroline Hometh
Payvision

POS Horoscope 2010

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Company Profile

Litle & Co.

New Products

Slip-on terminal mobility

PAYware Mobile
VeriFone

Front-end tokenization

SafeDebit
NYCE Payments Network LLC

Inspiration

Be the sale

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 28, 2009  •  Issue 09:12:02

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Managing conflict in the workplace

By Vicki M. Daughdrill

Every business faces conflict in the workplace. Organizations large and small deal with disagreements daily. Unresolved conflict places a huge financial burden on companies by increasing stress, absenteeism and employee turnover. Any stressor that results in decreased productivity is simply unacceptable, and failure to address conflict is not an option if you want to operate a successful business.

A business owner is responsible for creating a positive work environment where employees thrive while assisting the company in reaching its goals. While it is acceptable to have differences of opinion over ideas and issues, it is never OK to allow personality issues or other conflicts to affect the workplace.

Define it

What does conflict in the workplace actually mean? Conflict arises when employees feel threatened and their specific, individual needs are not being met. It can arise from seemingly insignificant issues, such as someone parking in the wrong slot, to major issues, such as a worker who errs blaming a colleague for the mistake or someone taking credit for the work of others.

Violations of company policies, or even state or federal laws, are also likely sources of contention.

Just as conflict has a variety of levels, from insignificant to catastrophic, there are also different ways to respond to it. The Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is a self-assessment test that helps identify an individual's reactions and responses to conflict and helps select the proper response to conflict.

According to the TKI, there are five levels of response: avoidance, accommodation, compromise, competition and collaboration. Many times a business owner, manager or supervisor will choose a combination of responses to deal with a conflict.

Avoidance

Avoidance is pretending the situation doesn't exist and will go away on its own. When this response is employed, there is no resolution. Without resolution, work is not completed, company goals cannot be met and the situation can only worsen. On occasion, you can use avoidance to table an issue, giving you time to gather additional information before determining how to resolve the conflict.

Accommodation

Accommodation also does not ultimately resolve the situation. When this response is used, one person's needs are met while another's are not. This method allows the facilitator to accommodate the needs of one party while ignoring the needs of the other party. It is a technique that can also be used as a temporary resolution to the conflict.

Compromise

Compromise meets some needs of both parties. Finding the middle ground allows each party to have partial resolution. This response can be extremely successful if both parties to the conflict participate in reaching the compromise.

Competition

Competition is a method that will work in certain situations. In a competition scenario, both parties participate in resolving the conflict. However, one party is viewed as the "winner" while the other party is perceived as the "loser."

Collaboration

Collaboration is a way to allow all parties to participate in resolving the strife. While both difficult and time consuming, this strategy often provides the best results because it satisfies the needs of both parties as they come together to reach a consensus on resolving the issue. While this method can be extremely rewarding and successful, it is not the appropriate choice for every type of conflict.

Seven steps

Now that we have defined conflict in the workplace and identified several possible responses to dealing with it, here are specific steps you can take to mediate or resolve the conflict.

Deal with it

Dealing with conflict is always challenging; however, it is the responsibility of business owners, managers and supervisors. To reach a positive resolution, you will need to use your problem solving, information gathering, mediation, communication and evaluation skills. Using the steps provided herein will help you to foster the success of both your business and your employees.

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at vickid@netdoor.com or call her at 601-310-3594.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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