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Learn how to build four key types of business relationships in your career: with your manager, with your coworkers, with other departments, and with executives. Author and executive coach Simon T. Bailey guides you through building authentic connections with others and creating your own personal board of directors to help you succeed.
Discover how you can build meaningful rapport, set yourself up for visibility and success, manage up when you don't click, develop executive presence, and cross-train within a team to better serve the organization.
This course qualifies for 1.25 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.
Often, conflict occurs when there's a fight for resources, a weak relationship and a lack of communication between departments. In order to resolve conflict, understand what everybody wants, needs and the emotion behind the conflict. There're three important guidelines to follow when addressing a cross department conflict. Number one, be willing to give to get. I worked on a team years ago and we had to reduce the workforce by 90%.
With the reduction, I had to go ask for other people to be added to my department. At the time, no one wanted to give human capital to another team because they would be short staffed. I worked with the other department to prove if we work as a team we can help each other. It wasn't just about the team hitting our revenue target, but sending a message to the other internal stakeholders that my department was strong and healthy.
We moved past the divide because we took time to see the bigger picture, instead of the immediate issue, the pain of loss, insecurities and fear. If there is a department with resources but not giving it, focus on what you can give to them to help them achieve their goal. Then you must have courage to ask if they can help you. Don't assume they want to help you achieve your goal, unless you are willing to help them get what they need. To do this, have open and early conversations, be willing to circle around and give updates on the project during the time of collaboration.
This keeps them engaged and interested in helping you. Number two, be okay to lose the fight so the company can win the war. You must determine how to maintain the integrity of the brand and not get lost in personal fights, disappointment and emotion because something did not go your way. What you must do may not be in the favor either the department, but in favor of the customer. It is critical to maintain the vision and mission of the organization.
Number three, at the end of the day, you have to be one. Resolving and understanding conflict is about business, it is not personal. At the end of the day you must determine what is right for the organization, department, not the individual. If you're going to achieve the best outcome, determine the goal, how to get there and alleviate the conflict. To alleviate conflict, you have to establish a relationship before you can effectively resolve it.
Here are some tips. Go on an outing. It doesn't necessarily need to cost money. Arrange a special lunch, where everyone brings a homemade dish. Complete a service project where you may feed the homeless or participate in a charitable event. When there's a fight for resources among departments, conflict may occur. Also, be advised that in certain instances, you may have to go above departments to a higher authority to resolve the issue.
Please be advised that this may have future repercussions. Here's a couple of things to keep in mind during a time of conflict. One, always find out the hot button of the other department, then put your issues aside and find out what they need. Two, when the conflict is resolved, celebrate how you came to a resolution and next time you will have a better approach on how to solve it.
And remember, if departments are to help the organization move forward, it all starts with people willing to put their agenda aside to serve the greater good.
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