5 Key Strategies for Handling Conflict
Few enjoy being tasked with resolving conflict and often overlook the opportunity to grow through conflict. Conflict is typically seen as something to be avoided. This is because people seldom acknowledge that conflict is actually useful and can be handled successfully. Conflict can be used as a driving force. Virtually every significant advance of humanity has been the result of conflict. The more aggressive the conflict, the more dynamic the advancements. Even if there is no tangible foe, humanity needs to be under pressure; we need to have a deadline. In the world of business, a healthy amount of conflict inspires us to meet our goals. If the threat of failure in the workplace is never apparent, we tend to achieve much less. Here are some strategies you can use:
Five Key Strategies for Handling Conflict:
- Actively listen rather than simply react to what is being said. It is helpful to rephrase what the other person says to show an understanding of their point of view. This creates an atmosphere for constructive feedback and minimizes interruptions. Both parties need to feel heard before conflict can be resolved.
- Use “I” statements to describe the events to avoid using accusatory language. Doing this creates a much clearer picture rather than an explanation of what someone did or did not do. While the speech may seem stilted, it will clarify your point of view in a straightforward manner to avoid overly critical remarks. For example, rather than say “You forgot to hand me the invoice numbers yesterday and now I’m behind”, use “I” statements: “I noticed I did not receive the invoice numbers yesterday and I’m not able to complete my work without them”.
- Separate ego and vanity from authority and responsibility; people utilize tactical positions to protect their status. Focus on common interests and avoid acknowledging individual positions. You are creating consensus and removing tension.
- An objective viewpoint is necessary for a lasting resolution. Utilizing a mediator is helpful. Create options where everybody benefits. Look for the win-win in every situation.
- If events that transpired remain unclear, ask each party “What would I have seen if I were in the room?” This puts some mental distance between the complainant and the event. In trying to describe it to you, from your point of view, they should realize what was really driving the conflict.
These key strategies will promote teamwork in the face of disagreement. Raising self-awareness, finding objectivity, and communicating with open-mindedness are important strategies to adopt. Using these communication skills will build confidence and strengthen relationships so that employees can confidently and respectfully express their opinions without being blamed or ridiculed. Bring your team together and ultimately advance your company by handling conflict with these key strategies.
Want to learn more about Conflict Resolution? KnowledgeCity can help you become an expert communicator. Our training will provide you with the skillset to work through conflict with the knowledge of different communication styles in the workplace. Learn to identify communication barriers and successfully create solutions for the betterment of your team.
Try our courses in: Conflict Management, Effective Communication, and Problem Solving today! Get started today with a FREE TRIAL. It will be well worth your time. Keep up to date with tons of information and new courses by joining the KnowledgeCity newsletter.