Conflict is normal at the workplace. But, letting those conflicts go unresolved by avoiding difficult conversations can lead to costly consequences for any business. Keeping that in mind, here, we are going to talk about why business owners should encourage having difficult conversations early on at times of conflict or crisis.
Helps Mitigate Stress
Avoiding having difficult conversations early on during a conflict or crisis situation can lead to increased levels of stress that can have a negative impact not just on the individuals involved but on the entire team. This is mainly because ignoring a problem does not make it go away. Besides, the incongruity of the way you feel inside and not talking about it can lead to severe internal distress, which not only has a negative impact on the productivity of the individual but can also lead to problems in their personal lives as well.
While having difficult conversations might seem stressful, avoiding them altogether will lead to unnecessary anxiety and a toxic work environment.
Avoids Larger Issues
Not taking steps to resolve an issue at the workplace often results inlarger issues. This not only hurts the relationship of the employee with the organization but also puts a dent in your bottom line. Furthermore, procrastination can also result infurther backlash from other employees.
So, if you have an employee who is not meeting the standards of conduct or is underperforming, but you avoid having the difficult conversation, chances are, you’ll be dealing with more employees who fall out of line.
As a business owner, it is up to you to have difficult conversations or delegate them to respective department management so that everybody in your team knows of your expectations and works together to resolve any issues that may arise.
The good news is that in such scenarios, most employees are reasonable and are ready to make any changes where necessary.
However, there will be those who aren’t so forthcoming, but at least having the difficult conversation will open up the doors of communication and will give them a better understanding of the effect their behavior is having on their performance and on other members of the team.
In short, as a business owner, it is up to you to define expectations as clearly as possible and don’t be afraid to hold others accountable when they are responsible for a conflict.
Having a Difficult Conversation
Having difficult conversations may not be fun, but as a leader, they are necessary and crucial towards building a culture of communication. Here, we are going to follow a tried and trusted method to make difficult conversations E.A.S.I.E.R.
- Educate yourself no matter what thetopic, issue or opinion. You will need to know both sides of the story first to communicate efficiently.
- Admit that you are just as uncomfortable will help break the tension.
- Start Don’t beat around the bush.
- Inquire about the reason the other person believes or acted a certain way.
- Explore all possible solutions. This means brainstorming to find the most viable solution.
- Review the conversation once it’s over to ensure both parties are on the same page and there’s no confusion.
More importantly, having difficult conversations rather than treating them like confrontations will help create a workplace environment where having healthy conflict is considered okay, while more concerning issues such as harassment or discrimination are dealt with swiftly.