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Training Supervisors on Conflict Resolution

Dealing with conflict is an important part of a healthy work environment. And making sure people have the skills to resolve those issues was so important that Job Relations Training was included as one of the four programs within Training Within Industry. Donald Dinero in his book “Training Within Industry” said Job Relations Training “gives supervisors an easy method to use on a daily basis to inform their decisions and make their jobs easier.”

The program includes a 4 step method for handling conflict.  As I read through the 4 steps (Get the Facts, Weigh and Decide, Take Action and Check Results), I thought about how difficult it can be to take unemotional approach to a situation where you are emotionally involved.

But, being effective in a supervisory role requires the ability to look beyond the emotions and focus on what is best for the organization.  The importance of a supervisor is often overlooked but, he or she probably has one of the most difficult positions within a manufacturing plant.  It is the supervisor’s responsibility to produce consistent results in order to meet the business objectives, however, they are also responsible for addressing the day to day concerns of the hourly employees.  I imagine the supervisor being pulled in both directions when at times, these two groups are perceived to be diametrically opposed. The supervisor is expected to be calm under pressure, patient, demanding, understanding, unyielding, etc.

Have you looked at the organization through the supervisor’s glasses?  Do they have the skills they need in order to keep your organization moving in the direction you want it to move?  Are they getting the support they need in order to address the concerns of the hourly work force while focusing on the organizational goals?

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to