Prevent a High-Conflict Employee from Draining Your Team’s Energy
Disagreements at work aren’t necessarily a bad thing. But as a manager, you need to watch out for unhealthy conflicts that erode trust and drain your team’s time and energy. If someone on your team creates this kind of animosity, try to mitigate their negative impact.
- Resist the urge to demonize them. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life that could lead them toward this kind of behavior.
- Try to have compassion for high-conflict employees; empathy is often what they need to change their tune.
- Spend more time with them to try to form a connection. Listen and try to understand what makes them tick and what they care about.
- Redirect their energy when possible. Give them choices, rather than mandates, and try to keep them focused on the future. If their behavior persists, consider putting them on projects that reduce their collaboration with others, or, in extreme cases, remove them from the team altogether.
This tip is inspired by the article “How to Work with Someone Who Creates Unnecessary Conflict,” by Amanda Ripley