Americans today seem to have higher “deserve levels” and shorter fuses and are more outspoken than ever before. Add the increasing use of profanity and lack of respect for others, and people often find themselves in war zones at work, in social situations and even at home.
The result? Loss of valuable time and productivity, stress-induced physical symptoms, an emotional rollercoaster, lost relationships, legal troubles, and – for businesses – unhappy, complaining customers who just might stop doing business with those who can’t manage the conflict. Around 75% of people who leave their jobs do so because of another person, and 68% of customers stop buying from businesses when they perceive disinterest or rudeness by staff.
How does this issue manifest for owners and operators of multifamily housing properties?
Risk Factors Abound
Multifamily housing properties often feature different personalities living in close proximity and generational differences, and low-income housing properties can struggle with crime and other issues that exacerbate conflict. Owners stand to lose profitability because both residents and team members will leave high-conflict areas. One answer to this problem is to invest in conflict resolution resources for teams that work in multifamily affordable housing properties.
Creating better processes for airing conflicts, and for encouraging listening to, validating and understanding alternate points of view can go a long way toward creating a better, healthier atmosphere for owners, workers and residents alike.
A Plan for Handling Conflict
All of the stakeholders in the affordable housing industry need to understand their role in the process of conflict management and resolution: property owners and managers, multifamily housing professionals, site managers, maintenance staff, tenant association members, team leaders and even judges and court system employees.
Key behaviors that should be considered when creating a conflict management plan include:
- Viewing conflict as an opportunity rather than a burden
- Learning how to be a successful mediator
- Team leaders managing themselves and setting good examples
- Using common sense to reach win/win solutions
- Increasing the bottom line by working in harmony
- Cutting the cost of conflict in every area of a business
- Getting working relationships back in place
- Losing adversarial attitudes
- Foster dignity and respect
- Encourage others to peacefully handle their own disputes
Build Your Team’s Conflict Management Skills
Properly managing these conflicts can help establish peace and better resident retention in multifamily properties. Join the upcoming live webinar “Conflict Management: How to Handle Hostile Hazardous Residents” with housing industry veteran Anne Sadovsky on Thursday, July 13, 2017 to learn how to address the growing need for conflict management and arbitrating differences in multifamily properties.
Anne will explain how to use conflict management tools such as the “talking stick” while counseling and arbitrating among those in disagreement. She will also teach you how to recognize that communication is the solution to most disagreements and why words – such as “fault,” “irresponsible,” “dishonest” and even “do you have that in writing?” – should be avoided in conflict-ripe situations.