Recently one of my employees began to argue with me and another employee in a staff meeting. When I told him to stop, he argued more loudly and it became an awful scene. We both wound up yelling. What should I have done instead?


If one of your employees raises an opinion contrary to yours in a meeting, defuse potential conflict by asking him questions to understand his views. Once he’s explained himself, summarize what he’s said and then outline the reasons you’ve decided on an alternative view.

If he then voices an additional perspective that has merit, again listen to him.

If he instead argues, say, “You and I’ll take this offline after the meeting.” If he persists in arguing, say, “Offline just started. Could the rest of you leave us?” By letting everyone else leave, you spare them the conflict. You can later resume the staff meeting, with or without this employee.

© Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”   Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”  Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm     The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter    @lynnecury10 or at

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