Managing conflict is one of the last things on a leader’s mind.
With the enormous workload on my desk, one of the last things I want to do is separate employees that are at each other’s throats. My busy schedule would not only deny me the time but also the energy to handle such situations.
However, I have realized that tension and conflict are a part of life. And I should be ready to manage one when it arises as improper management of conflict could put a halt on the productivity of my agribusiness.
As a result, I have included in this article some ways that I handle conflict in my agribusiness.
The first thing to do when faced with conflicts between employees is to listen.
It can be tempting to want to get angry or take disciplinary measures against the employees concerned without listening to them. But that would only result in more unresolved conflict. Instead, patiently listen to each party involved in the conflict to get to the root of the conflict so you can resolve it.
While listening, avoid taking sides.
There are times where you agree with one employee and disagree with the other employee, but do not resolve such conflict in that manner.
The best thing to do is be impartial and unbiased towards both employees.
After listening with an unbiased mind, proceed to resolve the conflict and ensure that it does not occur frequently.
You can prevent a re-occurrence by setting boundaries that would promote open communication and respect between employees.
One of the rules that guide my employees at Farm4me is that no one is allowed to use foul language or violence as a means of communication. Strict disciplinary actions are often carried out on the defaulters of this rule.
To some extent, this has enabled me to handle conflict when it arises.