I run my own small business and have only a few employees,...

I run my own small business and have only a few employees, but I struggle to manage them properly as I hate conflict. How can I improve this?

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Unfortunately as a business owner you really do need to be the boss. This doesn’t mean that you need to be unreasonable, over demanding or even shouting to get your way.

It means you need to foster an unflinching resolve that you are the head of your business.

Create a structured, predictable environment for your employees. If you set out clear job requirements and deliverables your employees will know exactly what to expect from you.

They should respect you, but this starts with respecting yourself and your own role – after all, you are paying their salaries; this is your business.

Conflict is also not always a bad thing. Create a space where opinions can be heard. A business is not a dictatorship, so allow your employees to be heard, and even to disagree with you, but make sure they understand the final word is yours.

This will take practice, and a business coach could assist you in honing your managerial skills, but as a business owner they are vital skills for you to invest in.