Conflict Management

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

 

Conflict Management

Dealing with Conflict

Two Forms of Contact You Can Use When Dealing With Conflict

Two specific forms of communication you can use to reduce conflict in professional relationships.

Let's face it, communication is important. When we don't have a healthy form of itall of our relationships suffer including personal and professional.

Conflict is inevitable even in the best of relationships so we have to know how to communicate during the difficulties we experience while in conflict with someone.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

There are many styles of contact that people have with one another when communicating during a conflict of sorts.

Below we will illustrate to you two styles in particular. They are: Collaboration and Obliging.

An individual with a knowledge of these styles can select the style most appropriate for a specific conflict. It is also possible, once a style is identified, to better understand the motivations of others during conflict.

1. Collaboration:

Collaboration is the win/win conflict management style. Individuals who choose this style seek an exchange of information.

There is a desire to examine differences and reach a solution that is acceptable to all parties. This style is typically associated with problem-solving and is effective when issues are complex.

The collaborative style encourages creative thinking. Developing alternatives is one of the strengths of this style. Its emphasis on all parties synthesises information from divergent perspectives.

However, it is not an effective style when a party lacks commitment or when time is limited.

Collaboration takes time. It can be a frustrating style during higher levels of conflict when reason and rational considerations are often overshadowed by emotional commitments to a position.

The collaborative style rallies people to find solutions to complex issues.

It is excellent when people and the problem are clearly separate, and usually fruitless when people really want to fight.

The collaborative style can be a positive motivator in brainstorming or problem-solving sessions. Just be sure everyone with an interest in the situation is included.

Phrases you can use to trigger the collaborative conflict management style include:

"There seems to be different opinions here, let's get to the bottom of this." or, "Let's get several people from each department together and discuss the options."

2. Obliging:

Obliging, also called placating, is another style of conflict management.

Obliging places a high value on others but a low value on self, perhaps reflecting an individual's low self esteem.

It's also a strategy that can be used to deliberately elevate another person, making them feel better about an issue. use of obliging by raising another's status is useful, especially if your position within the company is not a politically precarious one.

This style is useful if a manager is unsure of a position or fears a mistake has been made.

By using the obliging style, the manager passively accepts the power of others, buying time to assess situations and survey alternatives.

The obliging style gives power to others. If you've got expendable power, it can build trust and confidence in others. If you are secure in your position, it can be used as a method of delegation.

Phrases that signal the obliging style include:

"I don't care, whatever you want." or, "You're the expert, what do you think?"

These two easy ways of communicating can ease tensions in both personal and professional altercations. Having a few techniques to smooth over the hard times of conflict, can be a win-win for everyone!

This article was contributed by Sandra L. Brown - Expert Author

Sandra L. Brown, M.A. is a psychotherapist and author in the field of relationships and dangerous interactions.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Communication Skills - Dealing with Difficult People

When dealing with difficult people, stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - don't rise to the bait!

1. Don't get Hooked !!!

When people behave towards you in a manner that makes you feel angry, frustrated or annoyed - this is known as a Hook. We can even become "Hooked" by the way people look, how they talk, how they smell and even by their general demeanor.

If we take the bait then we are allowing the other person to control our behaviour. This can then result in an unproductive response. We have a choice whether we decided to get hooked or stay unhooked.

2. Don't let them get to you

We often allow the other persons attitude to irritate or annoy us. This becomes obvious to the other person through our tone of voice and our body language. This only fuels a difficult situation. When dealing with difficult people, stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - don't rise to the bait!

3. Listen - listen - listen

Look and sound like you're listening. - When face-to-face you need to look interested, nod your head and keep good eye contact. Over the 'phone - you need to make the occasional "Uh Hu - I See"

If the other person senses that you care and that you're interested in their problem, then they're likely to become more reasonable.

4. Get all the facts - write them down

Repeat back (paraphrase) the problem to ensure your understanding and to let the other person know that you are listening.

5. Use names

A person's name is one of the warmest sounds they hear. It says that you have recognised them as an individual. It is important not to overdo it as it may come across as patronising to the other person. Make sure they know your name and that you'll take ownership for the problem.

6. DON'T blame someone or something else

7. Watch out for people's egos

" Don't interrupt

" Don't argue

" Don't jump in with solutions

" Allow them to let off steam

" Don't say, "Calm down".

8. See it from the other person's point of view

Too often we think the "difficult" person is making too much fuss. We think - "What's the big deal; I'll fix it right away". It is a big deal for the other person and they want you to appreciate it. You don't necessarily need to agree with the person however you accept the fact that it's a problem for them.

9. Be very aware of your body language and tone of voice

We often exacerbate a situation without realising it. Our tone of voice and our body language can often contradict what we're saying. We may be saying sorry however our tone and our body language may be communicating our frustration and annoyance.

People listen with their eyes and will set greater credence on how you say something rather than what you say. It's also important to use a warm tone of voice when dealing with a difficult situation. This doesn't mean being "nicey- nicey" or behaving in a non-assertive manner.

10. Words to avoid

There are certain trigger words that can cause people to become more difficult especially in emotionally charged situations. These include:

"You have to" -

"But" -

"I want you to" -

"I need you to" -

"It's company policy" -

"I can't or You can't" -

"Jargon" or "Buzz" words -

"Sorry" -

"I'll try" -

11. Stop saying Sorry

Sorry is an overused word, everyone says it when something goes wrong and it has lost its value. How often have you heard - "Sorry 'bout that, give me the details and I'll sort this out for you." Far better to say - "I apologise for ." And if you really need to use the "sorry" word, make sure to include it as part of a full sentence. "I'm sorry you haven't received that information as promised Mr Smith." (Again, it's good practise to use the person's name).

There are other things you can say instead of sorry.

12. Empathise

The important thing to realise when dealing with a difficult person is to:

Deal with their feelings - then deal with their problem.

Using empathy is an effective way to deal with a person's feelings. Empathy isn't about agreement, only acceptance of what the person is saying and feeling. Basically the message is - "I understand how you feel."

Obviously this has to be a genuine response, the person will realise if you're insincere and they'll feel patronised.

Examples of an empathy response would be - "I can understand that you're angry," or "I see what you mean." Again, these responses need to be genuine.

13. Build Rapport

Sometimes it's useful to add another phrase to the empathy response, including yourself in the picture. - "I can understand how you feel, I don't like it either when that happens to me" This has the effect of getting on the other persons side and builds rapport. Some people get concerned when using this response, as they believe it'll lead to "Well why don't you do something about it then." The majority of people won't respond this way if they realise that you are a reasonable and caring person. If they do, then continue empathising and tell the person what you'll do about the situation.

14. Under promise - over deliver

Whatever you say to resolve a situation, don't make a rod for your own back. We are often tempted in a difficult situation to make promises that are difficult to keep. We say things like - "I'll get this sorted this afternoon and phone you back." It may be difficult to get it sorted "this afternoon". Far better to say - "I'll get this sorted by tomorrow lunchtime." Then phone them back that afternoon or early the next morning and they'll think you're great.

You don't win them all. 

Remember, everyone gets a little mad from time to time, and you won't always be able to placate everyone, - there's no magic formula. However, the majority of people in this world are reasonable people and if you treat them as such, then they're more likely to respond in a positive manner.

Some more thoughts:

These notes are primarily designed to help deal with difficult people when we have made a mistake. We often have to deal with other people where we have not made a mistake however the people we're dealing with often prove to be difficult and unwilling to accept what we say.

We therefore need to demonstrate assertive behaviour that helps us communicate clearly and confidently our needs, wants and feelings to other people without abusing in any way their human rights.

Some books to read

A Woman in Your Own Right - Anne Dickson

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers

Irresistibility - Philippa Davis

Why Men don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps - Allan & Barbara Pease

This article was contributed by Alan Fairweather

Alan Fairweather is the author of four ebooks in the "How to get More Sales" series. Lots of practical actions you can take to build your business and motivate your team.

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Cnflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Conflict Management

Conflict at Work: The Root Causes of Workplace Conflict Are Often Systemic

When I'm asked to enter an organisation and help people talk things out, I'm often asked to fix things like this:

Those two just can't get along. Would you see if you can help them get past their differences with one another. They don't seem to be very good communicators.

One of our senior teams is in a real rut since a new VP came on board nine months ago. I don't think they like him and they're acting out. We could really use some clearing the air.

We're trying to move the organisation forward and we've got a few people who aren't good with change. Can you help move them forward?

I'm asked, essentially, to fix people.

And it's rarely the flawed human that's the real problem.

Conflict Research

Conflict research reveals that the roots of unhealthy workplace conflict and increased organisational costs come most often from these systemic causes:

Lack of information

Even with email, newsletters, reports, and staff and company meetings, conflict arises from lack of information or knowledge in how to use it effectively.

It no longer surprises me how frequently in workplace mediations I hear the phrase, Why didn’t anybody give me that information before now?

Skill deficits

Most of us were didn’t learn the Fourth R in school. We learnt reading, writing and arithmetic, but were not formally educated in relationship.

Building relational skills, such as those associated with effective negotiation, interpersonal communication, and collaborative problem solving increases employees ability to navigate conflict before it becomes destructive.

Ineffective organisational systems

System problems can, and often do, masquerade as interpersonal conflicts.

As I work with parties to peel back the layers of a conflict, it’s not uncommon to uncover ways the organisations systems are pressing upon one or more of the individuals involved and directly influencing their behaviour.

These system problems may be invisible until the overt conflict begins.

Ineffective conflict management systems

The informal system of organisational culture (as in the ways employees and leaders show through word and action that this is how we deal with conflict here) and formal intervention systems can have a profound influence on whether or not conflict unfolds in a healthy or destructive way.

Poor conflict engagement skills in an organisation's leaders often means poorly managed conflict throughout the system.

Misuse of ADR

While the increasing commitment to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in organisations is a positive step, it’s often use too late in a conflict, confuses mediation and arbitration, or imposes a process unhelpfully on an unwitting or ill-informed employee.

Effective conflict resolution systems, even in very small organisations, create opportunities for conflict to be identified and addressed early and constructively.

Effective processes should emphasise talking things out effectively early in the dispute, the use of mediation before grievances or litigation harden positions further, conflict resolution coaching for and by educated managers, and training that supports real behaviour change.

This article was contributed by Tammy Lenski

Copyright 2004 and 2006 by Tammy Lenski. All rights reserved.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Cnflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Conflict in the Organisation - Beneficial or Just Risky Business

The stereotype that conflict is always detrimental is coming under attack from many researchers. There is a growing school of thought that conflict can stimulate an energetic and dynamic working environment that shakes apathy and compliancy to its core. However, there is an equally vocal group that finds conflict is always dysfunctional and its consequences can far outweigh any potential benefits.

Conflict can effect radical change

In many organisations when radical change is necessary to fight stagnation and apathy, managers deliberately introduce conflict to raise the intensity of a group. New ideas and concepts can come from this intense level of activity.

But, arguably, these ideas can just as easily come from cohesive group activity that is orchestrated by responsible managers.

The truth is that radical change can come from a variety of methods, conflict being one of them.

But the risks of conflict may make this a risky undertaking.

The consequences of conflict

Conflict can kill a vital workforce because of the human element that defines a work group. Hurt feelings and anger may sound like petty complaints but as an active element of a work group, they can be fatal. Employee dissatisfaction leads to turnover, reduced productivity, and the potential for violence in the workplace. Given these risks, most managers look for safer ways to stimulate workers.

Conflict can increase group cohesiveness

Work groups respond to outside threats and often bond and pool their resources to ward off threats to their group integrity. Managers can introduce conflict to bring a group together and create an us-or-them mentality. Individuals may feel a sense of connection with their co-workers and increased collaboration can result. The group becomes a single unit whose primary goal is to meet expectations as a way of self-preservation.

But is this a good thing? It is important to remember that this perceived threat is just that perceived.

Once group’s goals are met it frequently becomes clear to group members that they have been manipulated and feel used for mercenary reasons.

Also, the bonds that are formed are often not dissolved at the end of the mission.

The roots of distrust for management or scepticism in management objectives can sabotage future projects.

Team building exercises and an empowering manager can just as effectively nurture group cohesiveness without subterfuge and manipulation.

Alliances and bonds can be created through healthy ways that do not pit workers against each other. Research shows that these ties can often promote a high degree of worker satisfaction as personal goals match organisational goals.

Conflict can stimulate a higher degree of innovation

Because of the slightly higher level of tension, employees can work harder to find new and innovation solutions to problems.

By virtue of the higher tension levels, group members are more dynamic and motivated to find previously unknown ways of solving problems simply because of the increased level of ideas and sharing that occurs.

Much like a think tank operates, members find a new openness to bring ideas and thoughts to the table and answers are the outcome.

But is introduced conflict the only way to increase the levels of tension?

Indeed, many forms of brainstorming come from introducing healthy competition to the group.

Competition does not mean conflict. Contests, humorous team activity, and incentives can increase the level of tension without negative consequences.

Employees relate that they feel like they are having fun at work when tension is a positive force.

Employees competing to find a better way to resolve a problem when the reward is a relatively minor incentive are not likely to be hostile to the winner.

More serious competition with significant rewards can still allow all group members to walk away feeling good as long as their individual contributions are acknowledged and appreciated by managers and members alike.

While there are different schools of thought on conflict as a motivator, responsible managers know that conflict may be a risky means to an end.

The potential for employee dissatisfaction and disillusionment can make a quick solution a costly one.

Most importantly, mangers need to look at the individuals that make up their workforce as individuals and not just a cog in the machine.

Healthy team building is the key to problem solving not manipulation and subterfuge.

This article was contributed by Melissa Vokoun

Melissa Vokoun is a successful Business Adviser and Trainer. From 1983 to 2005 she was COO and VP of Sales and Marketing for a national telecom equipment distributor. Her passion for business, working with clients in solving critical issues in the strategic, tactical and operational areas of growth continues. She is now President and Founder of NuVo Partners and Successful Business Advisor's. To learn more about the services available, please call 847-392-6886.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

 

Conflict Management Skills

Managing Workplace Conflicts

Effective approaches and strategies for managing workplace conflicts.

Kinds of Workplace Conflicts

Let’s start by identifying where conflicts happen. Think about the kinds of conflicts that happen around your workplace.

  • Disagreements over turf (who should do what)
  • Disagreements over policy (how things should be done)
  • Conflicts of personality and style

Common Ways of Dealing with Conflict

These are some of the ways we typically deal with conflict. Do you see yourself in any of them?

  • Avoid the conflict.
  • Deny the conflict; wait until it goes away.
  • Change the subject.
  • React emotionally; become aggressive, abusive, hysterical, or frightening.
  • Find someone to blame.
  • Make excuses.
  • Delegate the situation to someone else.
  • All of these responses are non-productive. Some of them are actually destructive. This is why learning to manage conflict is so important.

Effect on Work Relationships

The workplace is a system of relationships. Relationships have many different aspects; here are several examples:

  • Trust
  • Teamwork
  • Quality
  • Morale
  • Self-esteem
  • Loyalty
  • Respect for boss

When conflicts are handled well, there’s a positive effect on work relationships. When they are not, these factors can deteriorate. Productivity and the free expression of ideas are also impacted.

Factors That Affect How People Manage Conflict

The skills involved in managing conflict are learned behaviours. None of us is born knowing how to deal with differences of opinion, arguments, or turf wars. Some of the factors that affect how we behave in the face of conflict are:

1. Status: People in higher-status positions usually feel freer to engage in conflict and are less likely to avoid confrontation.

2. Company style or unwritten rules: Some companies encourage conflict; others have unwritten rules that it is to be contained or avoided.

3. Gender differences: Males are generally encouraged to be more confrontational than females.

4. Behaviour learned in families: In some families, conflict and confrontation are a communication style. In others, conflict always remains hidden.

5. Behaviour learned from role models: People who have had a teacher or boss who modelled effective conflict-resolution skills are more likely to develop these skills themselves.

Conflict Resolution Skills

No one is born knowing how to resolve conflicts. Conflict resolution is a set of skills that anyone can learn. Let’s look at two important ones: active listening and conflict de-escalation skills.

Active Listening

Active listening is a valuable skill for resolving conflicts because it enables you to demonstrate that you understand what another person is saying and how he or she is feeling about it.

Active listening means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said.

Active listening is a way of checking whether your understanding is correct. It also demonstrates that you are listening and that you are interested and concerned. These all help resolve a situation when there are conflicting points of view.

Active listening responses have two components: (1) naming the feeling that the other person is conveying, and (2) stating the reason for the feeling.

Here are some examples of active-listening statements:

  • Sounds like you’re upset about what happened at work.
  • You’re annoyed by my lateness, aren’t you?
  • You sound really stumped about how to solve this problem.
  • It makes you angry when you find errors on Joe’s paperwork.
  • Sounds like you’re really worried about Wendy.
  • I get the feeling you’re awfully busy right now.

Actively listening is not the same as agreement. It is a way of demonstrating that you intend to hear and understand another’s point of view.

Benefits of Active Listening

If a person uses active listening as part of his or her communication style at work, how would that be good for resolving conflicts, i.e., what are the benefits?

1. It feels good when another person makes an effort to understand what you are thinking and feeling. It creates good feelings about the other person and makes you feel better about yourself.

2. Restating what you’ve heard, and checking for understanding, promotes better communication and produces fewer misunderstandings.

3. Responding with active listening has a calming effect in an emotional situation.

Conflict De-escalation

Everyone has been in an argument that has escalated. Before you know it, it’s blown out of proportion. Let’s think for a moment about some actions that will help you deescalate a conflict. In your experience, what actions put a stop to the defend/attack spiral?

  • Stick with I statements; avoid you statements.
  • Avoid name-calling and put-downs (A reasonable person could see that...).
  • Soften your tone.
  • Take a time-out (Let’s take a break and cool down).
  • Acknowledge the other persons point of view (agreement is not necessary).
  • Avoid defensive or hostile body language (rolling eyes, crossing arms in front of body, tapping foot).
  • Be specific and factual; avoid generalities.

Conflict Prevention Skills

Now that we’ve talked about how to resolve a conflict, let’s look at how to prevent conflicts from happening. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring issues out in the open before they become problems.
  • Be aware of triggers and respond to them when you notice them. Have a process for resolving conflicts. Bring it up at a meeting and get agreement on what people should do in cases of differing viewpoints.
  • Teach everyone conflict-resolution skills and expect people to use them.

The following article was contributed by Garrett Coan professional therapist, coach and psychotherapist

Garrett Coan is a professional therapist, coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counselling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed on 201-303-4303.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Success Through Conflict Management

In times of conflict you can take one of two positions.

First the position is that of having your heels dug in and believing you are RIGHT.

The second position is where you care enough to understand what is motivating the other person’s behaviour.

My recommendation, as you might have guessed, is the second.

Just to make a point, I'd like you to think back to the last argument you had with your spouse, parent, child, a friend or in a business situation.

Do you see yourself in the argument?

Now, I ask you which position did you take? "The first," you say? I thought so.

If you had taken the position of trying to understand the others position, there most likely would not have been an argument.

We humans are not perfect.

As such, we sometimes we fall into our stuff.

At these times we are not the best people we could be.

But, it is the person who recognises that they are in their stuff and makes a new behaviour decision that makes a good partner.

You might be thinking, "Thanks for the info, Ed, but why do I have to always be the person who makes the change, the person who makes it works?

Why can’t it be the other guy once in a while?"

My answer to you is simply that you are the one who figured it out first.

Get out of your stuff and, as Nike says, JUST DO IT.

Listed below are some additional tactics to help you resolve conflict.

1. Evaluate your, and your partner's, conflict management styles. Understanding each other is a great start.

2. Identify and plan strategies to deal with non-productive behaviours before they crop up.

3. Give positive feedback as often as possible so the relationship does not take on a negative tone through only firefighting interactions.

4. Confront problem situations at once rather than waiting for the situation to escalate.

5, Invite comments from all stakeholders early in every project, especially your alliance partners.

6. Consider using humour and maybe even humility in certain situations.

7. Encourage dissent at a time and place that serves all involved.

8. Review the value of the alliance relationship. Determine how much your circles of interest overlap. Ask if winning this battle will get you closer to an OSR, or further away from it.

9. When you hear something you don't like, repeat it back in an informational way. See if the message you received was the same as it was intended. Misunderstanding is the root of much conflict.

10. Know your buttons and don't allow them to be pushed. You have control in this area.

11. Completely listen to what the other guy has to say before you open your mouth. Remember the adage, Listen twice before speaking once. That's why God gave you two ears and only one mouth.

12. Remember the principle of saving face. In some societies, it is a matter of life or death. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, this is not usually the situation in North America.

13. Keep your ego in check. Be clear on the difference between high self-esteem and high ego. One serves and one does not. Need I say more?

14. Appoint a devil's advocate and allow them to be involved in projects from the start, all the way through completion. Their job is to be a pain in the neck. It's not that they are just picking on a certain person or position. This keeps people from taking a dissenting opinion personally.

15. Keep the consequences of your decisions in mind.

16. Value the opinion of others. Focus on the clarity of the water, not the spring from which it flows.

I understand that building Outrageously Successful Relationships can be difficult at times.

My best advice for you: Know the value of your relationships.

Know where you want the relationships to go and stay on course.

Accept that quality Partnering just takes time and effort.

Accept that there isn’t any magic--just dedicated implementation.

This article was contributed by E.R. Rigsby

Adapted from, Developing Strategic Alliances, by Ed Rigsbee, CSP. Ed Rigsbee is also the author of PartnerShift-How to Profit from the Partnering Trend and The Art of Partnering. Rigsbee has over 1,000 published articles to his credit and is a regular keynote presenter at corporate and trade association conferences across North America. He can be reached at 800-839-1520.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Top Ways to Deal with Conflict - and Harness Its Potential

Managing conflict is a normal aspect of business operations.

Although managers do have to dedicate much of their time to conflict management, successfully doing so can be good for the long-term performance of the company.

Conflict management is an integral part of successful business administration.

Research shows that managers often spend as much as 20 percent of their work day trying to resolve conflict.

Although conflict is a common workplace issue, it is important to recognise the sources of conflict and implement strategies to solve problems.

This can help businesses overcome the harmful aspects of conflict and benefit from the positive results conflict can produce.

There are four basic elements of conflict. These include:

  1. The involvement of two or more parties
  2. A perception of incompatible goals
  3. Differing values or perceptions
  4. A continuation of the conflict until both sides feel satisfied with the results.

Conflict in the workplace can take many forms.

However, it always requires at least two parties.

Often, one of the parties is unaware of the conflict. They are a part of it nonetheless.

From the perspective of management, it is best to identify the two parties and separate them initially.

The first step is to accept that there is a problem and to define what it is and who is involved.

It is often difficult to realise that problems are stemming from a perception of incompatible goals. Individuals may have specific goals for their department or the organisation as a whole.

Those goals may be quite different than the goals that someone else in another department might have.

It is often easier for an individual to see him or herself as the good guy and see the person who is a threat as the enemy.

The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the other person may have goals that have not even been considered. In many instances, finding a way to satisfy both individuals will ultimately be good for the company.

Conflict is normal. That is because each individual in an organisation brings certain values and perspectives to the table that are unique to him or her.

These can enrich the organisation by allowing for a more diverse dialogue and decision-making process.

Unfortunately, they can also spark opposition and contribute to communication difficulties. Still, they are healthy problems to have. In fact, a truly dysfunctional operation would be one where everybody gets along.

Often conflicts will go on for long periods of time. This is especially true when one or more parties keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. This can come from a desire to avoid the conflict, or can just be the result of neither side feeling satisfied with the solutions, if any.

It is important for managers to recognise and deal with conflict. Sometimes it is best to just let things be.

If a manager feels that not dealing with the problem would be better than if he or she did, then perhaps that is the best course of action.

Unfortunately, most problems don’t just go away, and festering anger can eat away at morale and get in the way of effective decision-making.

There are five main strategies for resolving conflict. These are:

  1. Avoidance
  2. Accommodating
  3. Forcing
  4. Compromise
  5. Problem Solving

Avoidance is sometimes the best course of action. Often time will fix whatever problem has existed and trying to fix it yourself will just make it worse. Still this rarely works. More often than not, avoiding conflict is just a sign of an inability to successfully manage problems. The conflict avoider often develops rationales for the conflict, dodges meetings or conversations where conflict is present, and hopes the conflict will resolve itself on its own.

Accommodating is an approach which rarely leads to the problem being solved. Although this can help solve the immediate problem, the basic issue remains. Accommodating and avoidance are similar techniques. They both come from a fear of addressing and dealing with an issue directly. A manager who gives in to the conflicting party often sacrifices his or her own goals and hurts the company in the long run. This is why it is often healthier to have conflict out in the open than to have people think there is harmony when there really is not.

Forcing is the opposite of accommodating.

The manager who forces his or her employees to accept a solution to a problem or forces them to drop the issue will seldom find the best long-term solutions.

This type of behaviour can be competitive or even aggressive in nature.

The manager (or co-worker) wants to compete to see who’s right and who’s wrong, so he or she attempts to force an opinion on the opposition to win the argument.

This hardly ever fixes the problem and usually produces more anger.

Compromise is often seen as the best way to deal with conflict. However, it can often leave both sides feeling like they’ve lost.

This is especially true when managers are the ones who decide what the compromise will be.

In order to successfully implement the problem solving strategy, there must be certain common beliefs that the two parties can agree on, such as:

  1. Cooperation is better than competition
  2. Parties can be trusted
  3. Status Differences can be minimised
  4. Mutually acceptable solutions can be found

It is better to get the parties in a conflict involved if you are to reach a long term solution to their problems. The likelihood of a solution working is greatest when the parties come up with it than when it is created by management. However, such a solution can only be found when the parties realise that cooperation is in their best interest.

As values and perspectives differ, it can be easy for some individuals to distrust each other. This is often the result of a breakdown in communication or a failure to realise the goals of others. Managers can increase their ability to gain the trust of their employees by actually trusting them. This will give them the ability to communicate successfully and help employees recognise and solve problems together.

Status differences often prevent communication and lead to conflict. When employees feel that management is different than them, they often decide not to communicate openly and problems can grow over time. This will be especially true if the manager tends to use the forcing technique to problem management.

Believing that solutions can be found which will satisfy all parties is the first step toward successfully solving a problem. The parties need to admit that there is a problem and get it out in the open. Management should encourage this and let employees know that conflict is normal. The problem should be analysed by both parties, with the manager as the intermediary. By accepting employees concerns, managers can encourage an attitude that will help problem solving. The parties can then come up with options for solving the problem and agree on a final solution.

Managing conflict is a normal aspect of business operations. Although managers do have to dedicate much of their time to conflict management, successfully doing so can be good for the long-term performance of the company. To effectively solve conflicts, managers need to recognise the factors that cause it and try to implement strategies for solving problems in a constructive way.

The following article was contributed by Justin Elza

Justin Elza is the owner of J. Allan Writing and Design Studios, a full-service creative firm that helps clients save time and money while developing consistency in all their written, visual, and web-based marketing communications. From business cards to billboards, memos to manuscripts, J. Allan Studios is your creative, professional partner! 

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

 

Conflict Management Skills

Two Forms of Contact You Can Use When Dealing With Conflict

Two specific forms of comunication you can use to reduce conflict in professional relationships.

Let's face it, communication is important.

When we don't have a healthy form of itall of our relationships suffer including personal and professional.

Conflict is inevitable even in the best of relationships so we have to know how to communicate during the difficulties we experience while in conflict with someone.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

There are many styles of contact that people have with one another when communicating during a conflict of sorts.

Below we will illustrate to you two styles in particular.

They are: Collaboration and Obliging.

An individual with a knowledge of these styles can select the style most appropriate for a specific conflict. It is also possible, once a style is identified, to better understand the motivations of others during conflict.

1. Collaboration:

Collaboration is the win/win conflict management style.

Individuals who choose this style seek an exchange of information.

There is a desire to examine differences and reach a solution that is acceptable to all parties.

This style is typically associated with problem-solving and is effective when issues are complex.

The collaborative style encourages creative thinking.

Developing alternatives is one of the strengths of this style. Its emphasis on all parties synthesises information from divergent perspectives.

However, it is not an effective style when a party lacks commitment or when time is limited.

Collaboration takes time.

It can be a frustrating style during higher levels of conflict when reason and rational considerations are often overshadowed by emotional commitments to a position.

The collaborative style rallies people to find solutions to complex issues.

It is excellent when people and the problem are clearly separate, and usually fruitless when people really want to fight.

The collaborative style can be a positive motivator in brainstorming or problem-solving sessions.

Just be sure everyone with an interest in the situation is included.

Phrases you can use to trigger the collaborative conflict management style include:

"There seems to be different opinions here, let's get to the bottom of this."

or

"Let's get several people from each department together and discuss the options."

2. Obliging:

Obliging, also called placating, is another style of conflict management.

Obliging places a high value on others but a low value on self, perhaps reflecting an individual's low self esteem.

It's also a strategy that can be used to deliberately elevate another person, making them feel better about an issue.

Use of obliging by raising another's status is useful, especially if your position within the company is not a politically precarious one.

This style is useful if a manager is unsure of a position or fears a mistake has been made.

By using the obliging style, the manager passively accepts the power of others, buying time to assess situations and survey alternatives.

The obliging style gives power to others.

If you've got expendable power, it can build trust and confidence in others.

If you are secure in your position, it can be used as a method of delegation.

Phrases that signal the obliging style include:

"I don't care, whatever you want."

or

"You're the expert, what do you think?"

These two easy ways of communicating can ease tensions in both personal and professional altercations.

Having a few techniques to smooth over the hard times of conflict, can be a win-win for everyone!

This article was contributed by Sandra L. Brown - Expert Author

Sandra L. Brown, M.A. is a psychotherapist and author in the field of relationships and dangerous interactions.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

 

Conflict Management Skills

Why Miscommunication Creates Personal Conflict

Miscommunication is the root of many conflicts. But what exactly causes the conflict when miscommunication is responsible? This article demystifies the miscommunication triangle.

If you were to ask me to pick one factor that was responsible for conflict-I'd have to choose miscommunication, hands-down, as the primary factor.

Why? Because miscommunication opens up the triangle of other factors that inevitably leads to conflict.

Let us discuss this miscommunication conflict triangle.

Picture a triangle with miscommunication taking one side, fear taking another, and assumption taking the third side.

Miscommunication

How does miscommunication happen? It happens when one side doesn’t communicate enough information to us, or we misinterpret the real meaning of their words. In either case, we get a different meaning of their words than they intended. With the advent of e-mail and IM chat, this is a becoming a common problem now-a-days because type-based communication is asynchronous communication, meaning that people do not communicate in real time it’s essentially a telegram.

Asynchronous communication does not allow for immediate feedback response, so our minds have to interpret what the other person is saying based upon their typed words alone. Although most common in typed-based communication, miscommunication can also occur in any type of communication setting. Another common type of miscommunication is no communication or a lack of communication.

Fear

People always fear the worst outcome.

In miscommunication, the mind will fill in the missing information with their own creative insight, which is often fear-based.

Think of the husband who is out late and forgets to call his wife.

Because there is a lack of communication there, she begins to worry and her mind immediately switches to fear mode.

Self-talk occurs and it takes the form of her own fears.

Did something happen to him? Is he cheating on me?

Our minds will always think of the worst possible outcomes based on our fears and insecurities.

Assumption Believed As Truth

Our minds need logical explanations to events.

One of our most basic needs is the need to have answers and the need for reasons and explanations.

Absent those needs, our minds switch to a fear-based mode where we have to satisfy our need for answers with that of assumption.

Assumption is a derivative of fear because we always assume the worst based on our fears and insecurities.

Assumption therefore fulfils our need for a logical explanation for the unexplainable event and we tend to become locked into that assumption, believing it as truth.

The wife, who might be insecure about their relationship, might remember the time when she caught her husband flirting with the secretary, and her fears will drive her to make the assumption that her husband must have gone out to meet her.

What To Do?

When we are faced with miscommunication, we must keep our minds open to additional possibilities without adopting a certain truth about the other person until we know exactly from them what they are thinking. How can this be accomplished?

Well, your fears and assumptions will automatically kick in.

There is no way to fend against that because that is how our minds are wired.

Instead of adopting those assumptions as the truth however, simply acknowledge those assumptions as one possibility out of a number of possibilities.

List other possibilities with your assumptions and acknowledge them all without judging or evaluating them.

Simply tell yourself:

"These are all possible, but we don’t know the truth yet, so I won’t lock myself into any one of them."

By keeping your mind open to additional possibilities, you can break the assumption triangle and prevent miscommunication conflict from happening.

This article was contributed by Tristan Loo.

Tristan Loo is a conflict management expert and founder of Alternative Conflict Resolution Services in San Diego, California. He's the author of Street Negotiation--How To Resolve Any Conflict Anytime. Tristan uses his law enforcement experience to train others in the principles of defusing conflict and reaching agreements.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and

personalised One-to-One Conflict Management Coaching

for anyone who wants to improve the way they handle Conflict

Conflict Management Skills

Workplace Conflict - The Five W's for Intervention

Conflict in the workplace can be costly.

It results in reduced productivity, low morale, and employee dissatisfaction.

Quick, decisive intervention is vital. But what should you do and when?

These important tips will help you move from crisis to calm when conflict threatens.

"I deal with problems all the time. That's my job. But this one is messy.

I don't know how to handle it and if we don't do something quick it's going to get ugly!"

Jocelyn (not her real name), VP of Human Resources in a mid-size manufacturing company, was worried about a situation in one of their plants.

It wasn't the first time. She had been called into the plant several times over the past year.

But this was bigger.

One of the managers was in the process of removing two employees from their positions. Jocelyn had been working with the manager to make sure he followed proper procedure and had documentation to back up his claims.

Then yesterday she received notice from a lawyer representing the two employees, making claims of verbal and physical abuse from that same manager.

Today she'd received several unsolicited emails from other employees at the plant supporting those claims of abuse.

A couple of the other plant managers had phoned her, letting her know there were problems brewing. And now the CEO had got wind of the "rumblings" and was demanding that Jocelyn make the problems "go away."

Tempers were flaring, the situation was escalating, more individuals were getting involved, and the potential for a full-out crisis was imminent.

But Jocelyn wasn't sure what to do to calm things down and not add fuel to the fire.

Unfortunately, Jocelyn's indecision cost the company, in a number of ways.

Tensions at the plant continued to intensify, leading to shouting matches and even some physical confrontations.

Everyone started taking sides. Employees talked about their lack of trust in management.

Managers were busy assigning blame and denying involvement.

The work environment was negative, accusatory, and secretive.

Productivity took a serious downturn.

The ability to take quick, clear, decisive action in critical situations is a vital skill for anyone in the company who, like Jocelyn, is responsible for dealing with issues and crises.

Companies need to have a plan or framework for analysing these situations and intervening in an effective and efficient way.

Knowing how to manage crisis is one of the most essential skills in the workplace today.

Is there a situation in your workplace that requires an intervention?

Don't know where or how to start?

Consider these five questions:

Why?

Issues arise all the time. They'll resolve themselves, won't they?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. In fact, left unresolved, issues and conflicts seem to multiply.

And, when conflicts appear, they take an enormous amount of employees' time and attention. Sometimes it's not the original issue itself, but the ripple effects that are so debilitating.

When a problem arises that is affecting people's ability to focus on their work, you've got to intervene.

When?

Timing can be critical in an intervention. Hesitating can be seen as covering up, lack of leadership, even manipulation. If you don't want things to escalate further, the time to intervene is always now.

Where?

As conflicts escalate, side issues can seem to spin out of control.

But an intervention must get to the root cause of the situation and not just those side issues.

For example, if an employee has been accused of offensive behaviour, that individual must be dealt with specifically and immediately.

Instituting a company-wide training program on respectful workplaces won't resolve the situation.

What?

Interventions can take on many different forms and interveners may use different names for the work they do.

Whether it's called mediation, facilitation, dialogue, problem solving, or team building, make sure that the intervention directly relates to the root cause(s) of the problem, that it addresses all involved stakeholders, and that it results in workable long-term solutions.

Who?

Interventions are most successful when they are led by a neutral third-party who has no vested interest in the outcome.

And it is important that the intervener is seen as trustworthy, knowledgeable, and can develop a positive rapport with all parties.

Is there conflict in your workplace that is about to explode? Consider the five W's and intervene.

The following article was contributed by Tammy Lenski

le Oudeh and Nabil Oudeh are the principals of the Centre for Conflict Resolution International, a consulting firm that works with organisations of all shapes and sizes to resolve, manage, and prevent workplace conflict. In addition to their combined experience of over 30 years in the conflict resolution field, Gayle and Nabil credit their 18-year marriage for enhancing their understanding of conflict management theory and practice! Their entertaining and positive approach to the subject of conflict has made them sought-after facilitators and speakers.

They are the co-authors of the recently published book, Conflict is for the Birds! Understanding Your Conflict Management Style.

 

Conflict Management Training

FreePhoneFreephone: 0808 1234 909

 

The team:

Training Course Accreditation

Communication Skills Trainer Accreditation

To ensure that the courses you attend are of the highest quality, offering the best professional tuition possible,
all our Open Courses are evaluated and accredited.

This accredited course is suitable for corporate and public sector Continuing Professional Development Plans and Portfolios.

Read about trainer accreditation

Impact Factory Brochures

communication skills training brochure

DOWNLOAD NOW

Pages

There is a 20% discount on all Early Bird and Late Bookings. The course must be paid for at the time of booking.

(Discount not available if you wish to pay by Invoice)