Shut up, sit down, and color…

Human Resources is not a day care. As such, conflict resolution should only be a part of our accountabilities as it relates to making the business successful.

In other words, we aren’t resolving conflict merely to create some kumbaya-looking harmonious state; we resolve conflict so employees will work better and be more productive.

Sometimes, the right answer can be taken from a day care playbook: Shut up, sit down, and color. Quit touching her. Don’t make me stop this car. The list goes on.

They all mean the same thing — “Drop the petty stuff and get back to work.”

I know that sounds heartless, but we are actually paying these folks, right? I don’t think saying, “Hey, I paid you last week — do your job and quit starting trouble” is terribly out of line. In fact, we should probably say it more often.

Yes, there are times when conflict resolution skills come in handy; times when more finesse and delicate handling is called for. But let’s be real — that’s not the norm. Too frequently, HR gets involved in regular, interpersonal dynamics that have little to do with business productivity or success, and everything to do with one employee’s general dislike of another.

Stay focused on what matters. Don’t hesitate to say, “Shut up, sit down, and color.”

If that doesn’t work, put them in time-out…


Kevin Berchelmann

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