Importance of Developing Conflict Management Skill as a Leader

The most frequent thing that occurs in a workplace or organisation is conflict. As a leader, it is your duty to come up with a resolve in order to maintain the harmony in the workplace. However, this can be challenging as you’re dealing with different people that have their own unique ideas and perspectives.

If not dealt with correctly and promptly, conflict can create a ripple effect in an organisation or a workplace. This includes: dysfunctional teamwork, decreased productivity level, decrease in quality of work, and increased employee turnover. However, dealing with those can be alleviated by having the Conflict Management skill as a competency. Having this skill is crucial in being a leader. With Conflict Management, you can bring about improved teamwork and productivity, and customer and employee satisfaction. 

As a leader, you should be able to:

  • Handle difficult individuals and groups and tense situations with diplomacy and tact.
  • Spot potential conflict, bring disagreements into the open, and help de-escalate.
  • Encourage debate and open discussion.
  • Draw out all parties, understand the differing perspectives, and find a common ideal that everyone can endorse.
  • Orchestrate win-win solutions.

Learning the importance of Conflict Management is one thing, but developing it is another. Here are some tips on how you can develop this skill and resolve conflict in your workplace: 

Having self-awareness.

When in conflict or heated discussion, become self-aware in the moment, and focus on the issues rather than personal matters. “Separate the people from the problem.” 

Asking yourself.

Ask yourself: What can I say or do that will make this a more productive conversation? 

Facing the problem.

Don’t avoid conflict. It lingers and will need to be dealt with sooner or later. Sooner is better and creates fewer hard feelings.

Welcoming new ideas,.

Resist digging in your heels or putting up walls. Be willing to change perspectives and consider a wider range of alternatives and options.

 Minding your tone and words.

Examine your intent when negotiating. Deliver your message in a way that doesn’t create hostility and preserves the other person’s dignity (no putdowns, no make-wrongs).

Being creative.

Be creative, brainstorm, invent options for mutual gain.

Being objective

Insist on using data or some objective criteria to reach resolution, not emotion.

Acknowledging other people’s emotions

Be aware of the other person’s emotions in the conflict. You will get your point across better if you can be responsive to their needs.

Asking for help

Bring in a neutral third party if the conflict cannot be resolved.

Conflict is often feared by many people because they feel challenged by differing viewpoints and opinions. As a leader, you should create a workplace that invites open discourse and change the notion this can only result in a negative. By developing the right skill and competency for it, resolving conflicts can lead to a stronger, more creative, and more united workplace.

At People Builders we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who can help you and your team develop Conflict Management Skills. Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team.

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