The first thing you should when a conflict arises is quickly and professionally address the issue. You want to set aside a time, neutral place, and date to discuss the issues. Send out the invitation to the meeting to all parties involved and set the ground rules in the email or faxed invitation. Basically, setup the agenda, how long everyone has to present their key points, and possible outcomes and conclusions that may be drawn from the meeting. This will keep everyone focused during the meetings, offset a desire for any potential personal attacks, and bring you closer to resolving the issue.
Think about who cares the most about the outcome and also try to listen to the other party. We all can't be right or wrong all of the time You should always look to arrive in the middle with the other party if a conflict is present. If you push to win, you can push away a great employee or life-long client. But, if you meet that person half way, you have developed a loyal employee or client for life.
Being professional and handling conflict don't always go hand-in-hand. If you can grasp the concept and make the situation a win-win and creative learning experience then you're truly a wonderful leader.
Until next time,