Q. I became manager of this department three months ago and I'm having trouble settling issues between staff members. When one complains about treatment by another, I talk to the offending person, and then I try and help them resolve the issue. It isn't working. What's wrong?
Ans. Once you've listened to the complaint, you can't avoid giving the impression that you're taking sides, says Diane Katz, author of "Win at Work: The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution," (Wiley $24.95). Katz suggests you ask, "Have you spoken to that person?" and then encourage him or her to do so. Also explain that if they can't resolve it themselves, they can come to you together and you'll serve as mediator while they work it out. Also remember that they work for you and you expect them to work at getting along so the team can give peak performance. No one can step into the manager's shoes immediately. It takes time to adjust to all the new challenges-and problems. Cut some slack for yourself