Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

A Good Way to Deliver Bad News?

Is there a right way for a company to announce bad news? The answer is yes, even though bad news is never good, there is a good way of announcing it.

An example of someone delivering bad news the wrong way would be BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. When the BP oil spill that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward said in his speech how the oil spill was relatively tiny and that the environmental effects would be modest. This was a lie, the BP oil spill spilt billions of gallons of oil into the ocean and cost 11 people their lives.

Tony Hayward made the mistake of saying that a huge incident with massive environmental effects. This was a way for him to feel better about delivering such bad news to so many people, but it also undermined just how big the incident was.

There are many wrong ways to deliver bad news but there are also some guidelines to help deliver it properly. You always need to speak up and deliver the news as soon as possible. This means that there’s no hiding it or setting it aside for later. Secondly you need to make your statement accurate, don’t try to make it seem like a smaller deal than it is. Lastly, you need to say what your plan to do next is. You should never deliver bad news with no attempt at a solution. This causes people to panic a bit more trying to think of something to do.

Through all the horrible examples of people deliver bad news like Tony Howard, there is a proper way to deliver bad news. All you have to do is follow the steps.

Sources:

Andersen, Erika. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Good Ways to Deliver Bad News

Delivering bad news is never fun for any of us, but if you are a CEO of a company it definitely adds to the difficulty. Not only is your reputation on the line but you represent the company and how your employees and the public view you, they also view the company in the same way.  You have the whole company’s reputation at stake when speaking on its behalf. What you say should be something that you would want anyone to hear.

Leaking Information

IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, is an example of this. After the disappointing earnings report on April 18, Rometty released a video to all 434,000 employees in which she admitted that IBM hadn’t “transformed rapidly enough.” She called out the sales staff for missing out on several big deals. “We were too slow,” she said. “The result? It didn’t get done.” The press got wind of her message, and Rometty’s now accused of the corporate equivalent of yelling at her children in public. (Suddath) Always keep in mind that internal information can be leaked to outside sources. Being clear and direct is a positive but being degrading and placing blame is not acceptable. Keep in mind that what you are communicating to your employees should be something that you don’t mind your stakeholders hearing.

Focus on the Issue

When there is a big crisis, you must be ready to own the mistakes, express regret, and show that actions are being made to correct them and move forward. One of the most egregious in recent history was former BP CEO’s Tony Hayward’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in which 11 people lost their lives and billions of gallons of oil ended up in the Gulf of Mexico. (Andersen) His infamous words “I want my life back” remind us that when you have to deliver bad news, you should put your self-pity to the side. Stakeholders would have much rather heard that he understands the extremity of the spill as well as the relentless efforts that were being made to clean the water and rescue wildlife, as well as what actions are in place to keep this from happening again. (Owen) His words made the public feel that he was being insensitive about the concerns of the oil spill in 2010 and thinking of only himself instead of focusing on how he was going to assist in the efforts to make this bad situation better. This reminds us that even though you are being impacted by this, make it about them not you. Always keep in mind that you need your stakeholder’s support and that they are depending on your to be a strong leader that takes ownership when something bad happens.

Handling Bad News

Here are some ways that you can better handle delivering bad news:

  • First speak up and be credible by giving accurate information.
  • Come up with a plan right away and communicate it.
  • Don’t put it off because it is always better that the accurate information comes directly from you. Take responsibility for what has happened and show empathy.
  • Listen with courtesy and respect to the response.
  • Communicate the next steps of the plan.
  • Do what you said you were going to do. Repeat as needed. (Andersen)

Good News

To end on a good note…the founder of one of Turkey’s most successful brands, the food delivery company Yemeksepeti, in May sold his 15-year-old company to Germany’s Delivery Hero for $589 million. $27 million is going to 114 of the company’s 370 employees. With the typical employee earning between $1,000 and $2,000 a month, the average $237,000 bonus works out to roughly 150 months of wages, per CNN Money. (CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus) This bad news of the company being sold, turned out to be the best news to 114 of its employees. The news of the bonus would be easy to deliver, however, telling the 256 employees that they will not be receiving the bonus because they have not been with the company longer than two years would be more difficult.

Works Cited

Andersen, Erica. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” 6 March 2013. Forbes. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2013/03/06/how-great-leaders-deliver-bad-news/&gt;.

Beam, Christopher. “Oil Slick: How BP is handling its P.R. Disaster.” 21 October 2015. Slate. <http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2010/05/oil_slick.html&gt;.

Bies, Robert. “The 10 Commandments for Delivering Bad News.” 30 May 2012. Wiki How. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/05/30/10-commandments-for-delivering-bad-news/&gt;.

“CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus.” 30 July 2015. USA Today. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/30/ceo-sells-company-gives-employees-life-changing-bonus/30878901/&gt;.

Mullane, Denise Lenci and John. “COMMENT: Communicating with the public: how BP told the Macondo story.” 6 December 2010. Oil and Gas Journal. <http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-108/issue-46/general-interest/comment-communicating-with-the-public.html&gt;.

Owen, Jo. “BP Oil Spill Crisis Management: How Not to Do it.” 11 June 2010. CBS News. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bp-oil-spill-crisis-management-how-not-to-do-it/&gt;.

Suddath, Claire. “The Right Way for a CEO to Deliver Bad News.” 9 May 2013. Bloomberg Business. <http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-05-09/the-right-way-for-a-ceo-to-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

Team, Mind Tools Editorial. “Delivering Bad News.” n.d. Mind Tools. <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/bad-news.htm&gt;.

Weber, Erin McClam and Harry R. “BP’s Failures made worse by P.R. mistakes.” 11 June 2010 . NBC News. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37647218/ns/business-world_business/t/bps-failures-made-worse-pr-mistakes/#.Vikx1418OUk&gt;.

Witt, Chris. “How Good Leaders Can Deliver Bad News.” 21 October 2015. Reliable Plant. <http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/17101/how-good-leaders-can-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

 

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Mama Drama

Only on Dance Moms would adult women try to claw their way through other people so their daughter could possibly be a star. While the daughters of these women are practicing the moms are bickering over whose daughter is dancing a solo, and who is being treated unfairly. Though I am not a parent, growing up I was told there is no I in team. The moms don’t often congratulate another girl for doing well. If they acknowledge another girls talent it often is followed with a steamy remark against the coach Abbie Lee Miller. Abbie doesn’t hide that she favors one of the girls. She often speaks highly of Maddie who many people have watched dance in a recent music video. In this episode of Dance Moms Maddie’s mom was asked if it would be okay for Abbie to pull her daughter Mckenzie from being the lead in a dance and replacing her with Maddie. Maddie’s mom then agreed. When alone with the other moms while the girls rehearsed Maddie’s mom was verbally attacked. The other moms called her a bad mother; they said she wasn’t thinking about Mckenzie and the group, that she was only worried about Maddie. This led to Maddie’s mom walking into rehearsal (which is not tolerated) and telling Abbie (in front of all the girls) that Maddie will not be doing the dance. At that moment I felt so bad for Maddie and Mckenzie. These girls put all that they could into learning the dance and it pirouetted right out of their sight with America and their peers to witness. As a business professional Abbie should have rehearsals private, team members only. Goodbye observation room! Abbie has to stand by her decision, if a mom feels disgruntled she should have them meet with her privately. They came to Abbie so their daughters could have opportunities at stardom. Abbie made no promises that this would be the case for all of the girls, or that the road would be fair. She pushes each girl to reach their full potential so the team will thrive. While I feel she cares about each girl it is clear that she sees more potential in some than others.

Judy Plath

IUPUC PSYCHOLGY MAJOR

Water Cooler Worries

What is a water cooler conversation? Dictionary.com states that a water cooler conversation is an “informal conversation among office staff.” I believe that the word office is not needed in this definition because informal conversations take place in retail and factory work the same way that they would in an office setting.

What drew me to this topic was that this was brought up as an issue in a recent review of my company’s policies. We may have misused the definition of the topic, our problem was hallway conversations. Two employees would see each other in the hallway and they would talk about a current conversation and move on, but everyone else on that project would be left out.

This is not the typical issue with water cooler conversation. Most of the places that I looked, water cooler conversations were viewed positively. Talking to other employees allows people to recharge their batteries, build relationships and if used correctly can raise work place morale.  When the conversations are negative about other employees or if major negative news about the company is delivered with this method, the workplace morale can be drastically brought down.  Overall in general I believe that water cooler conversations are good for companies and can be beneficial for employees.

By Zach Walker, Mechanical Engineering Technology- Purdue College of Technology

Can Social Media Get You Fired?

Most people have posted to some sort of social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or some other site.  Thanks to technology, people can upload pictures right after they are taken, update their Facebook status, tweet and add comments to other people’s posts all with the click of a few buttons.  Technology has also made it easier for employers to see what their employees are posting.  This has led to some people losing their jobs due to what they posted on social media.

Here are some examples:

  • In Georgia, Johnny Cook, a bus driver, was fired for sharing a story on his Facebook page about a child who was not allowed to get a school lunch because his lunch account had a 40 cent deficit.  The school requested that Cook take down the post and say that he is sorry or else be fired.  He chose the latter.
  • In Australia, a video was posted of some miners doing “The Harlem Shake.”  After their employer found out, the miners were fired.
  • A woman lost her job after insulting her boss on Facebook.  Her boss was one of her Facebook friends.
  • In 2013, a picture was posted of a Taco Bell employee licking some hard taco shells.  He was fired, along with the employee who took the picture.  Taco Bell stated that the employees were fired for taking the picture and posting it to the Internet, which is against their policies.
  • A high school math teacher from Denver was fired for tweeting about marijuana and posting some risqué photos.
  • A woman from Switzerland was fired from her job just for checking updates on Facebook on the same day she called in sick to work stating “she could not work in front of a computer as she needed to lie in the dark.”
  • A woman was fired from her waitress job after posting insults about the restaurant’s customers on her Facebook page.
  • Celebrities are not safe either.  Gilbert Gottfried was fired by Aflac “less than an hour” after tweeting jokes about the tsunami in Japan.
  • Ex-MLB player Mike Bacsik was fired from a radio show in Texas after tweeting, “Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio” after the Dallas Mavericks lost a playoff game in 2010.

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with family members and friends.  Before you post anything though, you may want to stop and think about who might see it and could there be any negative consequences.  If you are Facebook friends with your boss, definitely do not post derogatory comments about him because more than likely he will see it, and you may be called into his office to discuss it the next day.

Another thing to ask yourself before posting anything is “will this reflect badly on me or my employer?”  If your employer is doing something unethical or illegal, that is one thing, just be prepared for the consequences if you write about it on social media.  But if you are just venting about something that made you angry at work or posting a picture of yourself doing a keg stand, you may want to rethink it and just share it with close friends and family members.

 

By Amanda Smith, Business major – IUPUC

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/living/buzzfeed-social-media-fired/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/fired-over-facebook-posts_n_659170.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/employee-fired-from-taco-bell-for-licking-shells/

 

 

 

Miscommunication in the Workplace

I’m sure we can all relate to miscommunication with a boss or fellow employee at work. When this happens, processes could potentially fall behind or customers could become angry about not being properly attended to. Without having good communication skills in the workplace, it is hard to get things done in a timely manner. Proper communication is vital to a workplace running smoothly and efficiently.

There are many reasons behind miscommunication in the workplace. One of the main issues is language barriers. I have had bosses, as well as customers, who spoke a different language than I do and it is tough trying to figure out what they need and how to appropriately help them. It is nice having interpreters that can help, but the communication issue is still always there. Another really big reason behind the lack of communication is being given confusing information. For example, if my boss tells me to do something but I am not sure what she means, I might not get the process done as effectively as I would if I fully understood what needed to be done. Be sure to double check information with the person in charge to make sure it is correct.

Along with confusing information being given, there might also not be enough information being given. If there isn’t enough information given, the process might not get completed all the way. My boss has left out some information when giving me a project to do and I had to go back and redo some of it and it is just frustrating. Be sure to get all of the information out in a timely manner to the person doing the job in order for the job to get completed properly.

There might also be miscommunication between employees. When talking to a coworker, people need to be sure to not put it in a way for the other person to misinterpret what is trying to be said. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the point you are trying to get across before sharing it with someone. Some employees have trouble listening to their leaders. If employees don’t fully listen to what their bosses are telling them to do, they won’t efficiently get the job done.

Another big issue in the workplace is mixing personal lives with professional lives. People need to be sure to leave their personal lives at home before coming to work. There is no reason for everyone to know what is going on with you outside of work, unless you feel the need to talk to human resources. Bringing personal lives into the workplace takes the mind off of the job you are doing, causing mistakes to happen and sometimes those mistakes could cost you your job.

Having negative attitudes in the workplace could cause miscommunication to occur. There could be two employees that do not get along, creating communication issues. There could also be an employee that doesn’t particularly care for their job, causing them to not listen to direction as much as others. Negative attitudes could cause the workplace to be a hostile environment, which could lead to other problems in the future.

Having effective communication in a workplace is an essential part of getting the job done that is needed. If there are communication issues, the workplace could have meetings to talk about them and fix them to the best of their abilities. It is a good idea to talk about things that are going wrong so that it won’t be an issue in the future and things will fun more efficiently and smoothly. Good communication leads to effective productivity, which leads to happy managers and employees.

By: Taylor Bray, Accounting major at IUPUC

Communication Breakdown in the Business World

What is communication breakdown? I have researched the definition of communication breakdown, however, I have not found a source that gives an exact definition of the term. This may be because communication breakdown happens all the time, whether it be in our personal life or in our work life. Think about someone saying, “Hey we need to get this done ASAP!” Most people interpret “ASAP” very differently. One person may think “ASAP” means by the end of the day, while someone else may feel “ASAP” means sometime this month. The smallest detail can cause communication to breakdown, which is the failure to get a point across. Communication breakdown happens all the time in the business world, which is what I will be focusing on, and giving you some examples of how communication can breakdown.

One example of communication breakdown is no communication at all. Lets assume there is bicycle factory that manufactures different types and styles of bikes on the same assembly line. One of the large customers decides they would like to order a different style bike than usual. Management decides the company has been doing well in productivity and will be better off not telling the shop floor employees to ensure the productivity stays up. However, a few days later people realize that they weren’t making near as many of the bikes that customer used to order time and time again. At the same time, not realizing how many more of the different styles were being produced that the customer switched to. This is when rumors begin to arise. Not updating employees on certain changes and important information can begin rumors like layoffs, decrease in pay, decrease in hours, or loss of benefits. Once rumors begin, you can expect employee moral to decrease along with productivity. You can avoid rumors by keeping employees up to date on what is happening with the business and not to keep them in the dark about issues that may arise.

Now lets say, for example, you tell your boss that you need the materials, to complete your job, delivered to your station by Friday. However, you forgot to tell him that you needed those materials by 7:00am. You don’t get the materials for the job until 2:00pm. The ending result was you missed the deadline for your job because you failed to communicate a specific detail. If you say you need something tomorrow, you can bet on getting it tomorrow but you can’t bet on what time it will come unless you specify exactly when you need it. Specifying the smallest details can greatly improve communication and give it less chance of breaking down.

Here is another example of communication breakdown. A manager runs a team of employees that tests the product of the company. The manager got orders from the vice president that she wants each employee on the team to test five products a day versus the four that they have always done. The manager realizes the employees will not like that very much, so instead of explaining the matter, he decides to take action and bark the orders at the employees to push them up to five tested products per day. This in return caused a crisis causing all of the employees to quit the job because they had enough of being pushed to hard. The manager could ask for feedback from the employees to see what improvements need to be made to test one more product per day. Barking the orders and trying to rush the employees caused a loss in important feedback that could help the test department.

Communication breakdown happens everyday, especially in business. There are so many ways for communication breakdown to come about but there is plenty of ways to help prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent communication breakdown between yourself and others in the workplace or in your personal life.

· Be specific on detail. Who, what, when, where, why, how
· Don’t rush the information you are trying to tell someone
· Acknowledge they are on the same page all the way through
· Use proper grammar in emails
· Encourage questions and feedback!

Here are a few tips for a business to improve communication and decrease breakdown.

· Be specific
· Don’t keep employees in the dark about important issues
· Constantly update employees to ensure they are on the same page
· Encourage feedback from employees!

This is just a brief explanation of communication breakdown, but hopefully this will help you realize the simplest of things can cause miscommunication. So the next time you tell someone “ASAP” you may want to go ahead and give them a date and time as well.

By: Joey Wilkerson, IUPUC Student

Work Cited
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-ways-to-fix-communication-breakdowns.html
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-organization-communication-breakdown-61551.html
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/examples-organization-communication-breakdown-22630.htm
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/communication-can-break-down-7074.html

Conflict in the Workplace

When it comes to conflict, I can honestly say, over the past decade of being a manager I have seen and dealt with a lot of it.  I have seen hundreds, possibly thousands, of different scenarios and have assisted people with working through the conflict to reach a resolution. You could say conflict management is a large part of my job as a general manager.  During a normal work week I spend between 20-30% of my time identifying conflict and defusing it before it escalades into an out of control issue that can leave lasting consequences.

Most people believe conflict is bad within a company and it should be prevented. However, conflict is all around us, we all deal with it daily.  People like conflict; we verify this every time we turn on our televisions to the newest reality show. The longest running television series in America, according to Wikipedia, is Guiding Light at 18,262 episodes.  This is a show centered on conflict in a small group of people’s lives. If you are more of a reader than someone who likes television, when was the last time you read a good novel in which the main character did not face some type of conflict?  The truth is conflict is ingrained into our everyday lives. 

Is conflict always bad for a company? We are going to analyze conflict and what kind of outcomes it has within companies.  We will also cover some ways to work through conflict.

Before we dive deep into this topic lets define conflict. Dictionary.com defines conflict as a verb, “to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash.”   It can also be a noun; a fight or battle, quarrel, controversy.  Now with conflict defined, let’s discuss it.

Those who say conflict is bad for a company are partially correct; conflict can cost companies large sums of money, and their reputations, can negatively affect outcomes and can sometime lead to a company failing. When conflict is ignored and problems begin to arise from said conflict, problems will begin to surface. Some problems with conflict are that they involve personal attacks that can lead to hateful behaviors. Conflict doesn’t help organizations solve problems, it creates problems. Large amounts of bad conflict also create negative morale in companies that can lead to decreased production with a team, lowered performance level and poor attendance. 

There are a great deal of factors that can cause conflict such as:

–          age difference

–          preference

–          morals

–          maturity

–          methods of communication

–          misunderstandings

–          passion level or involvement for the job/task

–          interdependence conflict

–          gender

–          methods to obtain goals

Now that we can see some causes and outcomes that unaddressed conflict can have in the workplace let’s look at it in a different context. Conflict doesn’t always have to get out of control to the point that it becomes strictly emotional and starts tearing teams apart. Conflict can generate positive consequences as well as negative.  If conflict is effectively manage red it can result in:

–          A less stressful work environment

–          Increased morale

–          Increased loyalty to the company or cause

–          Lowered heath care cost

–          Team cohesion

–          Personal and professional growth

–          Increase in communication leading to new ideas that benefit the company

The best way to foster an environment with beneficial conflict is to learn to identify conflict between employees before it gets overly emotional for the employees. All conflict should be addressed as soon as it is noticed.  Your employees should always feel free to communicate ideas without reprimand or personal attack. 

If you have begun working in an environment filled with negative conflict personal mediation may be required of you.  As the mediator you have a very important role in conflict resolution. There are many things you will need to know to become a good mediator. 

–          No one is right or wrong. Both sides will have to give some for a successful resolution.

–          Get to the root cause for the conflict. The true reason for the conflict may not always be on the surface.

–          Set guidelines to establish you as the leader and to ensure there will be mutual respect and vulgar language is not used.

–          The most emotionally explosive time will be at the beginning of discussion. Once both sides have made their initial statement you will then be able to mediate the situation better.

–          Ensure only one person speaks at a time.

–          Be sincere, and listen with empathy.

–          Paraphrase what is said to display your involvement in the mediating and to show you have an understanding of what both parties are saying.

–          Focus on separating the persons from the facts.  Make the conversation about the facts, not the parties involved.

–          Ask open ended questions to encourage involvement.

–          Offer alternatives to the current situation to help correct the problem.

–          Make sure both sides buy into the solution. If one person is talking and the other is silent you need to be able to pick up on the fact that the silent party is not happy with the solution and you need to continue seeking alternatives. Without both sides buying into the action plan you will not have a favorable outcome.

–          Always follow up on the situation to ensure the agreed upon solution is working.

If you are able to perfect these skills it will be very beneficial in maintaining an environment with less negative conflict and more positive interactions. People will be able to see that you care about them and begin caring more for the business. Conflict can be damaging to a company if not properly managed.  When in a work place of motivated people there will always be some level of conflict. I would have to agree with the quote, “Show me a workplace without conflict and I’ll show you a workplace where no one gives a damn.” – Alexander Kjerulf

By Richard Dockins Business/Marketing Major IUPUC

« Older entries