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October 4, 2011

Dealing With the 10 Most Unwanted

Filed under: Communication8:58 am

Last week, I highlighted the 10 most unwanted personalities at work. (For the record, I am not going to share which one I am – the people I work with know, and I have bribed them to keep quiet!) Today, I want to discuss how to deal with those people, or anyone you come into conflict with.

Set the Meeting

So, there is a clear conflict among team members or any group in your office. Setting a meeting to discuss the situation is a great first step. Begin by notifying everyone involved of the topic of discussion in advance. Blindsiding an already agitated person will certainly not help! Find the most neutral location available for your meeting. Be sure to schedule the timing of the meeting at the most convenient as possible for all participants.

Define the Problem

This may take some time and needs to be thoughtfully considered by everyone involved. Work past the superficial issues that often mask the true issue. Get over the intense desire to get the confrontation over with as quickly as possible (or, if you’re me, trying to avoid it all together). This can add to the problem as well. Clarify the problem with active listening, summarizing others’ concerns to be sure you understand.

Solutions: Developing, Narrowing, and Choosing

When you begin this stage, think broadly about all possible solutions and encourage everyone to participate – think of this as your brainstorming session. Next, narrow the options down to real actionable choices. The options should be linked directly back to the problem. Finally, selecting the ideal solution should be workable and be able to be implemented. The individuals affected most by the decision should have participated in the earlier parts of this discussion.

Monitoring the Process

Accountability is the name of this game. Set a time and date to reconvene and discuss progress on the solution. Take a moment to celebrate the success of your team.

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