What does conflict resolution for cleaning business owners and house cleaners look like? As pressure and stress from business increases, so do the number of problems at work.
Discover the importance of conflict management and its role within your cleaning business.
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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Conflict Resolution for House Cleaners
Conflict resolution for house cleaners. What is it? And how does it affect your business? Over the course of the week, we had an interesting discussion about conflict resolution. Well as a business owner, you’re going to have a lot of conflict in your business. So what is it?
Well, there’s first, the conflict that you will have with yourself. This is, am I spending my company’s resources and time properly? Is this really what I need to be doing for a living? Am I really managing these situations and these problems in my business correctly?
Do I need more help? Do I need more coaching? What is happening in my business? And am I the right person to be dealing with this?
What is Conflict?
So, What is conflict? Anything that raises the pressure and noise in your business is conflict. Now there’s also conflict with your spouse. So if you are married and you have somebody that is supporting you in your business, there will forever be a conflict of, are you spending your family’s time, resources and money back to the business wisely? So there will always be a conflict there.
The next conflict is between you and your employees, once you hire employees. Are they behaving properly? Are they doing the job properly? If they’re not, there’s conflict. And then there’s a conflict between the two of them or three of them or whoever the team members are. So do they get along with each other? Are they helping each other out?
There’s a conflict that happens organically. And then if you are the house cleaner that goes into the customer’s home, there’s a conflict between you and your customer. If you didn’t do something right and they’re unhappy, there is a conflict there. Or it could also be your customers having conflicts among themselves. You go into a customer’s house and they’re in the middle of a huge fight and you walk in and you’re like, “Whoa, I came to the wrong place at the wrong time.”
There Will Always Be Conflict in Business
So there will always be conflict in business and we will forever be focusing on resolving conflicts in our business. So first, what is the conflict and how do you determine if you’re the right person to resolve it?
The first thing to do is ask yourself is that very question, am I the right person to be solving this problem? Is this my problem?
I Used to Get Mad About Not My Problems
Now I remember when I was young and I was a hothead, I would get angry and I would fly off the handle at all sorts of things that were not actually even my problems. I was going to fix the world and the world was going to be how I wanted it to be. And I would get angry and upset if that was not the case. And I remember one time I was in the middle of a very heated discussion with myself and marketing mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer.
And I remember him asking me this question. He says, “Hey Angela, who put you in charge as general manager of the universe?” It stopped me cold in my tracks. And I thought about it for several years since then, because the reality is I’m not the general manager of the universe. Although I was taking on lots of problems that I was going to fix, they weren’t my problems at all.
So, I have been very careful to step back. And so as a business owner, I like to stop and take a bigger view and say, “Is this actually my problem?” And if it’s not, is it okay if I walk away? Because lots of problems will resolve themselves.
Think if You Need to Get Involved in This Problem
Now not all problems will resolve themselves but they will sometimes. So I need to think if this is a problem I need to get involved in or can I walk away? And in my age right now, where I have a little bit of wisdom behind me and a little bit of experience, I like to walk away.
So if somebody has me hot and bothered and my blood is boiling, I like to just stop. And I ask myself this question, if I make any decisions right now, are they going to be wise? And then very quickly I tell myself, “No.”
So now I’m going to just walk away, calm down and when I feel differently about the situation, I will then revisit it. But I’m not going to revisit it while I’m in this heated state of emotional involvement where I may say or do something I will later regret.
Social Media Has Heightened Conflict
Now we live in an era of social media and it has heightened conflict even more because even something you say on social media can and will be screenshot shared, re-posted, re-pinned, passed around and taken out of context and all that stuff.
So you have to be very, very careful about the conflicts that you’re dealing with, especially if they’re public conflicts.
What is Your Level of Involvement?
So then the next thing is, once you’ve decided that you are the person that has to get involved, what is the level of involvement? So for example, as a business owner, I have a conversation with everybody that I hire on day one and I ask them, “Hey, did I tell you about my business or battlefield speech?
I run a business, not a battlefield and while you are coming to work for my company, if for any reason at any time you don’t get along with any of the other employees, I’m going to let the two of you that are having the conflict go outside, you duke it out outside, and if only one of you comes back, that’s okay with me.
I don’t care which one of you it is. I do care, however, if that conflict becomes my conflict, okay? So you’re grownups, you’re smart people. I trust that you will be wise in your choices. I trust that you will be respectful to each other, that you will be kind to each other. And if there’s a conflict, I trust that you will go resolve it without my help. Okay? I don’t want to know about it.”
And it works. People resolve it on their own and I don’t have to deal with it. So they’re not my conflicts to resolve, they’re grownups, they can resolve it on their own, I let them do that. And then I say, “Yay, you guys resolved your own conflict. Good. Everyone can come back. We continue on business as usual.”
Sometimes You Have to Get Involved
However, if there is a big conflict then I have to get involved and I have to resolve it, I’m the only one that can resolve it. This happens a lot, if you’re a parent and you have children and you are the decision-maker, you can’t just walk away.
There are times when you have to resolve the conflict. So in this scenario, I like to stop and I like to ask myself, “What is one extreme, and then what is one other extreme? And then what happens in the middle?” And I like to come up with three different answers because one is probably what I’m feeling like doing right now.
The other one is probably what I should be doing. And if I were to make a compromiser in negotiation in the middle, what would that look like? And this is usually the one in the middle that some version of this is what we end up doing.
What I Learned From Jack Bauer
Now I learned this from Jack Bauer. Every time somebody asked him to do something, he would say, “Well, I get something in return.” And he would ask for something in exchange. And so if you’re going to negotiate a conflict, what do you get in exchange?
And the reason that I ask this is that you’re already invested in it. You’re emotionally involved. You’re somehow connected to this outcome you have to resolve. So what is it you are trying to accomplish? What is it you are trying to achieve?
Because if you resolve a conflict and you get nothing out of it, that was a huge waste of your time, money, resources, energy and stress. So what do you get out of it? What are you hoping to achieve? So when I get upset, angry, stressed, frustrated or angry, all of those are signs of conflict.
Stop Yourself Before Conflict
So what I do is I like to stop before any conflict and ask myself, “What would I like to see happen next?” And once I can articulate in my head what I would like to see happen next, that usually helps me decide what level or what road I have to go down to make that happen.
So with all due respect to everyone involved, what would I like to see happen next? In a perfect world scenario, what would I like to see happen next? And if I can make that happen right now in a calm, peaceful state without getting angry and coming unglued, that would be optimal. That would be awesome.
But there are times when I have literally just said, “You know what? I am not in a state of mind right now where I can resolve this without just shattering the world around me. I’m going to blow up the world around me if I have to deal with this right now.”
You Have to Just Walk Away Sometimes
And so in those moments, I walk away until I can calm down. When I can come back and I can think logically, and I can handle this situation from a reasonable perspective, only then am I in a position to say, “What would I like to see happen next?”
You have to make the answer to that question when you are in a sane state of mind. If your blood is boiling and you’re hateful and you’re hurtful and all these things, hangry, nothing you say is going to be wise. You have to be in the right state of mind.
So conflict resolution, it is important that we learn how to manage it because as long as you’re a business owner, you will be dealing with it probably for a little bit every single day for the rest of your career. I hope this gives you a little bit of an insight into how, as business owners, we handle our conflict resolution.Resources
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