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Hi folks,

2 direct reports who were recently transferred to my team due to recent organization change were fighting/quarreling against each other in the office today. And they work in a different location from me. They were only transferred to my team a week ago and I barely know them. The team lead in their office escalated to me and told me it is because A was setting up software environment and asked help from B who has some experience, but responded slowly/negatively sometimes which makes A thinks B's difficult and reluctant to help. I believe they each has their own good reason to explain.

Anyway, I haven't met situations like this before and have no experience handling 2 associates in arguement, especially when I am a new manager to them and work remotely. I'd like to seek advice from Manager Tool for a professional way or best practice of handling such situation to start with.

Appreciate if anyone can share anything that you feel helpful.

Thank you.
Gracie

adacosta83's picture

Hi Gracie,

First and foremost check to see if your organization has any 'Occupational Health and Safety' policies/standards and check what the procedures are for employees who fight.  You may have an expectation to inform others that an incident occurred.

I assume the team leader is a supervisor of these two staff?

Consider delegating follow up back to the team leader. The team leader has enough boss authority to explore what happened by speaking to the two involved and any witness, then speak with you about what was discovered and make a decision about how the employer should respond.  The downside to you intervening now is you are sending a subtle message that YOU are the boss, when they actually have a boss on site. 

Depending on how the argument started, how it was escalated and whether any violence or the threat of violence existed  your response to the employees will range from verbal to formal discipline, feedback and likely require a follow up meeting to start 'repairing' the working relationship between the two and to ask them to resolve conflict differently.

If this is a unionized environment or if you aren't sure about the team leaders ability to do a thorough and unbiased exploration of what happened you will benefit from having a peer or yourself be present for the interviews.

This is manageable.  Good luck.  Reply back if you would like to discuss further.