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When People Disagree

April 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 217

And sometimes they will. As you grow your business there are going to be people who disagree with your policies or the decisions that you make. It is all part of growth and it is not always comfortable.

Last week I encountered two business owners that could not agree on a several things. Most of their communication was done through email- and as tempers heated up - the emails became less and less professional in nature. Before all was said and done one of the parties emailed mutual contacts of both people and involved them in the dispute. Not only was this unprofessional but now the disagreement which has become more public- becomes that more difficult to resolve.

There are many things that can and will go 'sideways' no matter how much of it is unintended. Much of it may be as a result of communication difficulties, some as a result of competitive natures and some of it unfortunately as a result of envy. During times like this it is more important than ever to remain professional in all your communications and all that you do.

One of the business owners called me, desperately seeking advice on what to do. My advice was to take a deep breath and discontinue emailing the other party - and settle the disagreement in person. Unfortunately there has been much damage done by the other party who involved several other innocent people in the dispute. There is not much that anyone can do about that 'water under the bridge', and it is unfortunate that the dispute has brought undeserved judgment from some of the mutual contacts. But I encouraged her to continue to do what is right and walk with her head held high.

When someone becomes vindictive - it is too late to do much about it unless you begin legal proceedings. So the best way to solve something like this is to set things up so that it never happens in the first place. But what do you do if you are the one who feels that they have been wronged?

1. Stay professional, no matter how badly the other party acts. 2. Keep all your correspondence polite and fair. 3. Never respond in anger- take a few minutes to think about what the conflict is really about - and address the issues. 4. Keep the conversation on track and no matter how hurt you feel, never get personal. 5. Resolve your disagreements without involving others. Both parties may lose the client as they may feel very uncomfortable stuck in the middle. 6. If you have to respond to others who have become unwittingly involved - respond in truth and peace but do not throw stones at the person you are having difficulty with. 7. Consider involving a professional mediator - perhaps they can assist with a win - win solution.

Of course the best plan is to try to prevent disagreements from occurring in the first place. As a smaller business sometimes we take handshake agreements for granted and fail to read the contracts that we do sign. Here are a few 'professional' rules of conduct that businesses large or small should subscribe to.

1. Never, ever send out vindictive emails - or involve yourself in the passing of 'BAD' news. 2. Always draw up a contract for partnerships, or contracted work. 3. Screen employees and contracted individuals carefully. 4. Take the high road when accused of something that you have not done. Do not cut down the other part in an effort to vindicate yourself. 5. Do what is right to the best of your ability. You will create a reputation that people will respect and when you are faced with unkind or untrue attacks on your business or character, those who know you will not even consider that there is truth to it.

It is important to understand that there will be conflicts you will encounter. In fact often the more successful you become- the more likely you will be a target for disputes. Wal-mart, one of the most successful retail outlets in North America is said to average 12 lawsuits a day launched against it. Many of them are unfounded. However, this does not change the mission statement or the direction that the company directors are taking the company. They continue to build their company despite the disputes.

Make sure that you continue to keep your business - business like and professional. As small as you might be it is important to develop policies and procedures that protect your reputation and encourage goodwill and growth.

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Source: EzineArticles
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