Fact: If you work with other people, there will be conflict.
No, I have no data to back that up. It’s simply based on experience.
Working in an open environment at Peake Media, the editorial staff sits together in a collaborative setting. And being around each other, brainstorming and working closely, means there is bound to be a disagreement or two.
Whether it’s over how to best organize a task, if something is grammatically correct or who is brave enough to kill the spider on the ceiling, arguments and problems are going to come up.
However, it’s how you deal with these issues that matters.
I found an article on Fastcompany.com, “How Managers Can Teach Employees to Solve Their Own Problems,” that offered several tips in helping employees resolve conflict. The article states five points, I would like to focus on the first tip: give your employees room to grow.
The article states “today’s workers (especially millennials) want training that helps them advance their career.” I think it’s safe to say that most people, employees and Coaches want to continue to learn. Being educated on how to handle those tough situations and problems is an area I always want to continue to grow in.
Do I like having to handle those sticky situations? Not really. I don’t like having to diffuse fires with the risk of getting burned. However, typically when I emerge from such an event, I come out stronger. I’ve been empowered because I’ve been trusted to solve issues, but of course with some guidance along the way.
The CrossFit industry, in a way, is ripe for conflict and problems. It is an industry based on people after all. In fact, just the other day I was talking with an Affiliate who had members and a Coach leave to open a Box only a mile down the road. If that’s not a dispute, I don’t know what is!
But, he handled it by asking himself and his staff what they were doing wrong. What needs of the members and coaches were they not meeting? Where had the communication fallen apart that he hadn’t even known part of his membership was on the verge of leaving?
Those questions allowed the Affiliate and his Box to reach new levels of communication and community involvement. He was living out another point that I read in the article mentioned above: “Needless to say, every conflict requires its own response, but you should model the techniques and skills you want your employees to learn each time.”
Whether the Affiliate knew it or not, those on his staff were watching and learning from this experience. He probably played a vital role in their development through his response.
So, Box owner, how are you responding to conflict today? And how are you giving your employees the room to grow in their problem solving abilities?