Managing Conflict and Stress

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Managing conflict and stress effectively is an essential skill for a supervisor (Rue & Byars, 2010). Improperly handled events or situations that have been ignored will negatively impact the work area in the form of reduced productivity, loss of morale, and could potentially lead to workplace violence (Rue & Byars, 2010).

The supervisor needs basic knowledge of the signs and symptoms of conflict and stress (Rue & Byars, 2010). Recognizing warning signs allows the supervisor to proactively take steps to reduce conflict (Babatunde, 2013). In the scenario provided, a great deal of tension has been noted between coworkers involving work and personal issues. The first instinct is to discount the personal issues and concentrate on work related concerns but this would only address part of the issue.

To clarify, personal problems will not be addressed with the work conflict, but the supervisor has to be aware that unresolved personal issues will impact the team. The supervisor may make limited suggestions in this area. For example, the supervisor may recommend an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provide resources offered within the company such as child care or employee financial assistance programs to help relieve some of the personal concerns (Rue & Byars, 2010).

According to Rue and Byars (2010), the individual may also be feeling intrapersonal conflict, “which is conflict internal to them” (p. 272). The supervisor may be able to help the individual recognize their source of frustration which may be manifesting within the team and creating tension (Rue & Byars, 2010). Intrapersonal conflict can occur from positive events such as a promotion or a perceived negative event such as two offers for promotion (Rue & Byars, 20...

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...aining personal health, understanding the issue is not personal (unless you are the cause of contention and that is another paper altogether), and truly enjoying your position (Rue & Byars, 2010).

In conclusion, a supervisor sets the tone for how stress and conflict is perceived and resolved in the work area (Rue & Byars, 2010). Supervisors that tend to sweep issues under the rug may see employees doing the same thing until the situation explodes. Supervisors that appropriately confront conflict and stress create an environment of taking care of issues and moving forward.

Works Cited

Babatunde, A. (2013). Occupational stress: A review on conceptualizations, causes and cure.

Economic Insights - Trends & Challenges, 65(3), 73-80.

Rue, L., Byars, L. (2010). Supervision: Key link to productivity. (10th ed.). New York, NY:

McGraw-Hill/Irwin
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