Now that you’ve asked some of the open questions in the previous blog, “How to resolve conflicts between business owners and employees’ regarding social media use”, it’s time to work towards an agreement for going forward.  Try the following:

“I’ve heard you say that ___________, __________________, and ____________________ are important to you.  (Insert employee’s interests in the blanks)   What’s important to me is that our business targets are met, and that your time at work is focussed on the business.  I also want to support you to excel at your job and to earn your bonuses.  I’d like to find a way that all of our interests can be met.  Let’s brainstorm some ideas to do this.”

There are some key principles here.  Firstly, you are acknowledging that your interests and your employee’s interests are important.  Secondly, you are stating that a solution going forward needs to include both people’s interests not just one person’s.  One of the tricks to making this conversation productive is to work hard to think of creative solutions that could meet both interests but are somewhat different from the opinions that were in conflict.

I’ll end with one last tip.  In the event that you have an employee with a lot of potential who you are having trouble negotiating an acceptable solution with, consider hiring a mediator to help bridge the communication (and possibly generation) gap.  Sometimes these differences can be resolved with the assistance of a mediator who helps both of you to uncover ideas and interests you hadn’t thought of before.