By spotting signs of conflict early, you have a better chance of:
- identifying the causes
- resolving the conflict
- reaching an agreement
Some managers will find it easier than others to pick up signs of conflict, and there is often an element of doubt.
As a manager you are more likely to be able to interpret the behaviour of your employees if you have regular channels for open communication and consultation. By listening to the views of your employees at an early stage - before issues become potential problems - you can gauge future reaction to proposed changes.
Employee feedback forms or questionnaires may also help you to understand the situation and stop future conflict arising - see preventing conflict.