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4 Tips for Conflict-busting Conversations

Steven P. Dinkin, Barbara Filner and Lisa Maxwell October 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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Workplace conflicts take up 42% of a typical manager’s time. The trick to moving past these conflicts and on to increased productivity for everyone at your skin care facility is knowing how to approach the topics in a way that leads to improved working relationships.

The following tips—excerpted from The Exchange: A Bold and Proven Approach to Resolving Workplace Conflict (CRC Press, 2011)—will teach you how to turn your next meeting with conflicting team members into a productive conversation.

1. Start with an icebreaker. If you go straight to the topic of controversy, most people will quickly get stuck in defending their positions and attacking their opponents. The icebreaker is a way to nonconfrontationally initiate a conversation about difficult issues. An ideal icebreaker asks for a person’s own take on something that’s both work-related and positive. For example, if the conflict involves two estheticians, you might break the ice by asking each of them how they became involved in the skin care profession and what they hoped to achieve.

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