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But that's my stapler

Resolve conflict in the workplace productively

Gazette staff May 4th, 2011

The average manager spends 42 percent of his or her time dealing with strife between employees, according to Steven Dinkin, co-author of “The Exchange: A Bold and Proven Approach to Resolving Workplace Conflict.”

But that time can be diminished by broaching the topics in a way that improves working relationships.

“Disagreements, disputes, and honest differences are normal in any workplace,” said Dinkin, who heads the National Conflict Resolution Center. “When these normal occurrences are treated as opportunities for exploring new ideas about projects, they can become catalysts for increased energy and productivity. Getting to that place starts with an honest discussion.”

And how to do that? He recommends these four steps:

—Start with an icebreaker to give both sides a cooling-off period.
—Listen, because what they aren’t saying is more important than what they are.
—Use positive language, because it’s a conversation, not a trial.
—Work toward solutions that are specific, measurable and realistic. —Gazette staff

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