Last Updated Jan 28, 2009 6:16 PM EST
But here's a simple trick, courtesy of the Vertabase Blog, to help you resolve workplace disputes: adopt a "say it to my face" policy. That is, don't let anyone say anything negative about a co-worker unless that person is present.
Don't tolerate exceptions and help keep the policy in place. If Jane Doe comes into your office with a complaint about John Worker, tell her to hold that thought and call John in as well. While you're waiting, chat with Jane about her own efforts and progress; when John shows up, invite Jane to re-air the issue about John.
Why is this beneficial? For a few reasons...
- Jane is more likely to take a respectful and reasonable tone in presenting her complaint
- John is less likely to be defensive in his response
- Perhaps Jane's problem with John was due to a limited understanding of his situation; this offers an opportunity for further insight and information on both sides
- The kvetching has less time to fester behind the scenes and potentially snowball into a bigger problem
- You are no longer the go-between - instead, you're the moderator
(image by *clairity* via Flickr, CC 2.0)