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The 8 Simple Steps for Conflict Management

To be an effective manager, the skill of conflict management is needed and important to manage a winning team in business.

Any relationship, work related or personal, will experience conflict at some stage.

The conflict can be a result of a disagreement and most of the time a misunderstanding that occurs because of the way in which we see or interpret the world around us. Our background, experiences, current emotional state and current environment can all be contributing factors.

Conflict can also be a result of differences in values, perceptions, beliefs and ideas and even insecurities or fear.  According to ‘Skills you need’ article there are three main types of conflict:

  1. Personal which relates to self image, trust, betrayal or lack of respect.
  2. Instrumental conflict which relates to disagreements of goals, process and structures.
  3. Conflict of interest which relates to way in which ‘two parties are incompatible’ or the way in which the goals are reached.

You know what causes conflict but there are certain skills that are also needed for conflict management. The skills are verbal and non-communication that involves active listening, negotiation, emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Benefits of conflict resolution

The aim in resolving conflict is to collaborate rather than compromise. Collaboration is the ideal win- win situation and the parties involved are concerned about others. The benefit of conflict resolution is to build stronger, resilient and high performing teams.  When conflict is resolved, team members gain self knowledge and are able to put faith in colleagues and relationships can be improved to realize the growth of the business.

Here are a few simple steps to take action in the case of a conflict situation: 

  1. Address the situation immediately. Conflict ignored becomes detrimental to the business and can cause personal stress and anxiety.
  2. Each person needs to communicate how they see the situation.
  3. Have a mediator to understand the viewpoints and facilitate the communication process.
  4. Brainstorm all the possible solutions to resolve the situation.
  5. Agree on the alternatives and solutions that were mentioned.
  6. Have a future orientated approach.
  7. Decide on the way forward to prevent future conflict situations (realize that past is the past and cannot be carried into the future).
  8. Keep on focusing on improving the relationship while working through the conflict.

Do you need a conflict management training intervention for your business team?  A.T. A. will cover the sources of conflict, techniques, an action plan and strategy to manage conflict.

Written by Carla Wasserfall

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