DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a restaurant to pay the bills. I have been promoted to manager and was happy about the paycheck, but I now have to be on the frontline of a waitress who fights with the chef all the time. I believe there was some relationship between them and they are now at each other's throats. How can I step into this fighting? They are both hotheads but provide great service at the restaurant. -- Manager's Orders, Dallas
DEAR MANAGER'S ORDERS: Speak to the chef first. Tell him how great his food is and how much the customers enjoy it. Point out that there is one serious issue you need to address with him: the way he interacts with the waitress in question. Ask him to be civil with her. As the chef, he sets the tone for how the staff gets along, and even the energy of the whole restaurant. Tell him you need him to look past whatever their issues are and to choose the high road. Ask him how you can be of help in accomplishing this.
Separately, speak to the waitress and let her know that her interactions with the chef are causing challenges in the restaurant. Point out that their interactions are unprofessional. Ask her to stop fighting with him. If she blames him or deflects, tell her that they are both responsible. And you, as the new manager, are also responsible for getting everybody on the right track.