Conflict is a natural part of human interaction. A healthy approach to conflict leads to greater understanding of one another and more creative problem solving. An unhealthy approach to conflict leads to wounded egos and frustration.
When we understand our individual styles of dealing with conflict we can begin to understand how we can approach it; we can also then identify whether it is within our ability to solve or is too volatile or complex for a resolution.
There are four communication skills that are fundamental to any type of effective consulting: neutral observation, feedback, active listening, and exploratory inquiry. Together, they offer a formidable method of communication that can facilitate improvement in processes, in interpersonal relations, and in group dynamics.
Letting people go is always difficult, and laying employees off during the current economic downturn is especially stressful given that jobs in many areas are scarce and that many companies simply cannot afford to provide severance packages or job placement services. What you can do, though, is approach a layoff with a practical attitude that includes understanding and appropriate, actionable advice.
Your employees are your greatest asset, and they will best thrive in environments that nurture and grow their skills without petty distractions. Part of your job is to foster that environment, which includes striking the right balance of intimacy and accountability.