To be on the same page, we need to be in the same book – Rahul Guhathakurta
You don’t want everyone to feel like they’re drowning – they’ll all shout out for help at the same time and feel awfully angry if they don’t get it. If everyone is overwhelmed and bickering over the sheer amount of things that need to get done before the deadline, pick up some of the slack. Offer to do more to help, or hire someone who is better suited to the nuances of a complicated task.
Who is supposed to be doing what? Is the conflict coming from the fact that no one is really sure what their tasks are? Empower your team members to their strengths and learn how to delegate tasks to make the most of your team’s individual talents. If Jen can draft an email way better than Emily can, and Emily can do a cost analysis way better than Jen, make sure they aren’t doing each other’s jobs.
Sometimes, people just need a break. If a constant “go go go” attitude is starting to chip away at everyone’s happiness, they’re bound to be a little more abrasive with each other. Make sure you’re celebrating successes, no matter how small they are, to remind them that they deserve to step back and be proud of their accomplishments once in a while.
Steven and Annie don’t get along, and it can’t be because of the placement of a staple on a stack of documents. Having Michael staple the documents from now on isn’t going to fix the problem because the staple isn’t really what went wrong. Look for the root causes of problems and solve them at their core. Covering up the symptoms won’t do anyone any good.
What people are willing to say in a group is always wildly different from what they’re willing to say in private. It’s not necessary because of gossip, but because people don’t want to start larger conflicts at work by speaking candidly. Speaking to people individually and in private can help you craft a blameless solution that will allow everyone to get right back to work the moment it’s implemented.
A communication breakdown may be responsible for little tiffs that keep popping up. Hold a meeting just for the same of holding a meeting. Encourage people to voice their concerns, ideas, and innovations. Give everyone an opportunity to create their own mind maps, so they can use them to effectively communicate what their personal vision for a situation is. It will serve as a team bonding exercise, and I might actually make everyone a little more productive than they were before.
Ignoring something and hoping it goes away will never be an effective solution to a problem. Clearing your head and taking a moment to objectively work through what went wrong and how to fix it is the perfect solution to anything. Don’t make any hasty decisions – take a day to consider all of the variables and come up with a solution that boasts long-term potential.
It’s important to remember that the way you respond is just as important as your actual solution. Leading by example, rather than throwing the weight of your role around, is always more likely to give you a better outcome.
With her experience in HR and business administration, Audrey Robinson works as an assistant manager, supporting Datastical, an online business knowledge library. Feel free to reach out to her on her Twitter.
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