Streetwise — Conflict Management
From our friends at Eure Consulting:
This week we’ll kick off a 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. Up first: Conflict Management.
Conflict Management is defined as understanding, addressing, and resolving conflict constructively. Pretty straightforward right? The problem is a lot of people balk at the work conflict, it sends shivers down their spine. But conflict can be a very positive thing, if handled appropriately. It is natural and healthy for co-workers to disagree, that’s how new ideas are created, how products are improved, and how companies work through issues. The key word in this definition is that the conflict is handled constructively, if not, you’ll be left with all the negative side effects of conflict and not reach any of these positive benefits.
Those skilled in Conflict Management are able to keep everyone involved listening and sharing, while making sure that they are also being respectful of each other’s viewpoints. They remain neutral, establish trust, and find win-win solutions. Side note: If you think you have to “win” every conflict, whether at home or at work, I can guarantee you that you are not winning in the long run.
Conflict is ever present in both personal and professional settings. It can range from small issues to larger, values based disagreements. If you are skilled in the art of Conflict Management you will be able to effectively resolve these issues no matter their weight and help create productive, positive relationships with everyone around you.
You can start improving your Conflict Management skills right now by making sure that you truly understand what each party is saying and feeling. Take a step back to ask clarifying questions without judgment. Work to understand what emotions others are feeling and why. Put yourself in their shoes. Doing this will give you a more balanced and objective view of the issue and therefore help you find the best solution for all involved.