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Stop the Fighting!

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When the pressure to finish a job starts to ratchet up, things can get pretty tense in the trailer. There are a lot of irons in the fire, and a lot of opinions as to how to best get the job done. When tempers flair on your projects, what can you do to help resolve conflict and get everybody back to work?

We’ve put together 6 steps you can start using today to resolve future conflicts on your jobsites.

Identify the source of the conflict.

Before you step in with solutions, make sure you know the root of the problem. The more information you have at your disposal the more likely you are to bring about a resolution.

Listen and look beyond the incident.

Don’t assume that the problem is based in the here and now. Often when co-workers get upset with each other the cause can be traced back to something that happened months earlier.  Ask each party probing questions about their take on the fight and when they think the problems began.

Focus on the future, not the past.

As the mediator it is your responsibility to keep these talks from turning into a rehashing of past grievances. Once you know what caused the problem keep the conversation focused on what needs to happen in the future. You can’t change what has happened previously, but you can help change how these workers will interact moving forward.

Request solutions.

Let the parties to the conflict be a part of the resolution process. If the folks involved have a hand in deciding on the steps moving forward, they are more likely to follow those steps.  Ask each person what they can do better moving forward, as well as what they need from the other person.

Find common ground.

Both people need to come to a conclusion on the best resolution. Make sure they are each aware of their individual responsibilities in preventing future altercations. Talking through a conflict doesn’t help you if there is not a plan for maintaining the solution.

Come to an agreement.

Once you’ve identified the best resolution, get everyone to shake on it.

Follow these tips for a smooth resolution the next time conversations get a little too heated.