Conflict Management


Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

Tailored Conflict Management Training

and personalised One-to-One Executive Coaching

for anyone who is interested in Conflict Management Issues

 


Four Tips On How To Avoid A Verbal Fight

Four basic and important tips on how to avoid a verbal fight with an angry person....

1. Don't take the bait

A personal attack is their way of getting their intended victim to play their game. Think of a personal attack as a them tossing a baited fishing line out to you, hoping that you will bite.

Once you take the bait, then its GAME OVER--they win by default because now the victim has become an easy target for additional attacks. Even if the victim is quick-lipped, they are still fighting an uphill battle because they are on the defensive rather the offencive. Make a conscious decision not to take the bait and not to play their game. Make them play yours by not reacting emotionally.

2. Avoid the "YOU" word

It's really easy to tell when someone is getting angry at another because they start throwing out "YOU" statements all over the place. "YOU" statements are very accusatory in nature. "YOU are (blank)" "You did (blank)" "You said (blank)" It signals to the other person that a criticism is coming their way and they get on the defensive, just like if someone bladed their stance and put up their fists for a fight.

If you need common examples of this, just look at some of the posts here in this forum....there are a lot of angry "YOU" statements being tossed around. Instead, reflect on your own statements by using "I" or pull them closer to you by using "WE."

3. Empathise with them

When you find yourself getting angry at another person for the stuff that did, try for a moment to place yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

Often, we assume mistakes are done against us personally, when it was unintentional. Once, as a new employee at a company, I was constantly berated by my boss for making common newbie mistakes--after all, mistakes are how we all learn and improve, right?

After one particularly bad case of my boss screaming at me--in front of my fellow coworkers.

I simply asked him if he made similar mistakes when he first began working and how I could improve so that the same thing would not happen again.

This made him change his tune real quick because he was viewing me through the eyes of someone who had 20 years of experience on his hands. I had 5 days of experience.

I made him view the situation through my perspective and this changed his view on the whole thing. So try to empathise with them first and see if it was an honest mistake. And if it was done deliberately, then its time to disconnect and move forward.

4. Don't fight back--educate them

Assertiveness can be good and is what many people say to do instead of aggression, but the problem with being assertive is that it still breeds conflict between both people.

Assertiveness is basically getting the same point across, only in a polite fashion so that the other side feels obligated not to fight back.

While this might work to avoid further attacks, it does very little to satisfy the underlying resentment that lingers underneath because they will still harbour ill-feelings towards you even though you exhibited calm assertiveness. When harsh criticisms, sniping, or abuse take place....what I've found to work better is to tell them how their words makes me feel.

The assertiveness theory behind this is that it offers no target for them to strike at.....it makes them consciously aware that their words are hurting you.....and it will often make them feel sorry or guilty (assuming they do not have socipathic behaviour) for what they have said. So tell them something like, "It makes me feel (blank) when I get shouted at." or pose it as an innocent question such as, "Why would you say something that's hurtful to me?"

If you offer no resistance to their attack and instead use their attack to educate them, then its not backing down, or submitting to them, but rather it is assertiveness empowering you with taking control and it is educating them as what not to do.

This article was contributed by Tristan Loo is an experienced negotiator and an expert in conflict resolution.

Tristan Loo is an experienced negotiator and an expert in conflict resolution. He uses his law enforcement experience to train others in the principles of defusing conflict and reaching agreements.

 

Conflict Management Training

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Impact Factory runs

Open Conflict Management Courses

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Conflict Management Skills

Conflict Management and Difficult People

'It's not my fault!'

Most of the things that happen when communication goes wrong are usually the other guy's fault. Like driving a car: 'I'm a good driver; it's all the other idiots who don't know what they're doing.'

Indeed, not only is it the other guy's fault, but if that person would only change, my life would be great. If he/she would just listen to what I'm saying, return my calls, be more patient, see things my way, understand where I'm coming from, then we would get on just fine, thank you very much.

This is kind of what happens with most of us around conflict and people we find difficult.

Inside our heads, that is. Our thoughts go round and round and round as we inwardly accuse the other person of all sorts of nefarious deeds. We also make long mental tick lists of what the other person needs to change in order for there to be less conflict.

Not only that, because we know just how everyone else should behave around us, when they don't (and do things we don't like), we're quite capable of thinking that they're doing it deliberately. How could they not know that what they're doing is upsetting to me?

These are the kinds of thoughts that are swimming around inside our brains when we're dealing with awkward people.

On the outside it's usually quite a different story.

Here are a few of the options that people take around conflict and difficult people:

  • Avoid conflict as much as possible
  • 'Evidence collect'
  • Talk to the wrong people
  • Be right while the other person is wrong
  • Let them have it between the eyes.

None of these strategies help in any way to resolve conflict or deal with our difficult person effectively. They are designed to make us feel better, or at least justified in our feelings and actions, but they don't change the situation and they most certainly will make it worse.

It's You Not Them

If you find someone rubs you up the wrong way, someone who you find really difficult to deal with, then it is almost certainly about you and not them.

Yes, the world every once in a while throws up someone who is universally recognised as difficult. But for the most part, if you have a problem with someone, look to yourself first, instead of immediately placing the blame on him or her for being difficult, and the onus on them to change to make it better for you.

Get this: they are not responsible for how you feel - you are!

If you make them responsible for how you feel, you give them a whole lot of power, and you can easily make yourself a victim to them. Under these circumstances, they are in control of the relationship, whether they know it or not (or even want it or not).


Yes, of course, there are people who bully - and that's horrible. You may have a client or colleague who takes every opportunity to try to humiliate you - and that's awful. But the bottom line is still that you can either choose to be a victim to their personalities and communication styles, or you can take charge of the relationships and manage them, instead of letting them manage you.

When it comes to defining difficult people, it's completely subjective. One person's difficult person is another person's friend. You might be the only one in the office who doesn't get on with this 'monster'; alternatively, you might be the only one who does.

I'm Fine. It's Everyone Else

Here's something else even more startling to think about.

You are someone's difficult person. Yes you are.

We all are.

Someone, somewhere finds each of us really difficult to deal with. Just as in the above example at Impact Factory, it can feel quite disturbing to recognise that someone else thinks we are a problem.

Inside ourselves we think we're OK. When we look out at the world through the filter of our own eyes, it can be very hard sometimes to 'see' that the world looks very different to someone else.

That in turn makes it difficult for us to 'see' that they approach communication differently as well. When we expect other people to treat the world the way we do: to be attuned to the things we are attuned to; to respond the way we do.

When this doesn't happen; when someone else's communication style seems diametrically opposed to our own, then real conflict will come to pass and we may find it hard to know what to do.

First let's look at you

How are you difficult? What do you do that might get up someone's nose or that they might find problematic? We're not saying they're 'right'. We just want you to give some thought to the fact that there are people out there who find you just as difficult as you find your difficult person.

Given that it's you and not them; given that you are someone else's difficult person, how likely is it that you're going to get a personality transplant and become how they might wish you to behave?

Pretty unlikely.

In turn, how likely is it that your difficult person is going to go out, get a personality transplant, and become how you want them to be?

Equally unlikely.

If things stay like this, you get to maintain the status quo, but you're still no closer to resolving conflict, are you?

The Good News

Yes, in all of this there really is good news. Earlier we mentioned that the more you make your difficult person responsible for how you feel, the more power they have in the relationship. If you do nothing to change the current dynamic you stay passive and let things happen to you.

You have the power to change the communication.

By change the communication, we mean change what you do and what you say. What you do, what you say and how you say it will all create changes in the dynamic between you and other person. You may not always get what you want, but you will certainly be in charge of what happens between the two of you.

Here are some things you could try to help resolve conflict and help you get on better with your problem person.

  • Figure out what's really going on
  • Deal with things as they arise
  • Avoid blaming
  • Build bridges
  • Set clear boundaries
  • You don't have to go it alone
  • Stop colluding
  • Walk Away

Conclusion

You are always going to have difficult people in your life. You'll find people difficult; someone else will find you difficult. However, with a bit of practise you can ensure that they don't rule your life, your thoughts, your feelings.

You might even get to the place where you initiate conflict just so that you can get to a resolution!

 

Conflict Management Training

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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

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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 Conflict

Of all the issues that people tend to avoid, managing conflict ranks at the top of the list, along with public speaking and swimming with sharks.

Most people see conflict as indicative of a problem.

Disagreement feels uncomfortable and threatening.

When there's no open conflict we can carry on as though things are all right even if, really, we know they aren't.

If you ask people what the purpose of conflict is you'll get all variety of answers:

  • To get your point of view across
  • To win
  • To gain power
  • To let other people know they're wrong
  • To fight for autonomy.

Let's face it, most conflict is about winning and losing - getting your way at the expense of someone else.

On the other hand, if you're someone who really hates conflict, you might even say that it isn't really necessary because it causes more upset and problems than it solves.

However, there is one main reason to engage in conflict, and that's to reach a resolution.

Without resolution, conflict merely becomes an opportunity to recycle old arguments, disagreements and opinions: nothing moves forward, feelings get stirred up and reinforced.

Managing Conflict can actually be exciting and rewarding.

It can be a chance to get to the heart of a problem, rather than only focusing on the surface or obvious issues.

Most conflicts have core causes and once those are addressed, conflict becomes an option to choose rather than run away from.

 

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

Conflict Management and Change Management - The Dog

Change and Conflict

When it comes to conflict management, the idea of the Third Element is something that's been on my mind for many years.

It's about looking for a third thing that connects two opposite parties.

The duality of "me versus you" has quite an intensity to it while a triangular relationship - me, you and the thing - has a more gentle and less confrontational feel to it.

The Third Element is the thing that we're both interested in, or the thing that we both can look at (and that lessens the intensity of looking straight at each other).

For example: Most people will probably find that it isn't very easy to just walk up to a complete stranger on the street and start talking to them.

If, however, that person has a dog it's suddenly a lot easier.

Because we can both talk about the dog: "Oh, isn't he cute? How old is he?" Without the dog, it would be much more awkward to have a conversation.

The dog is the Third Element. Having a toddler has a similar effect of enabling two strangers to enter into contact.

So in a situation of conflict, one might ask: Where's the dog? Where is the dog in this situation that can help us to come together? What is the thing we're both interested in and that therefore connects us?

In the context of organisational change, for instance, where might that dog be that can bring management and staff together and help avoid potential conflict?

There are probably many dogs to be found, for instance the fact that all sides want the organisation to survive. That's something all can agree on.

The dog doesn't always have to be pretty: globalisation, capitalism and competition are realities that can be the Third Element that management and staff both face together.

So rather than "staff versus management", the new way of looking at the situation is that both staff and management are facing a world that has changed fundamentally, and it is this new world - the Third Element - that is forcing both sides to change. Looking at it this way can change the dynamic between the two sides, and soften it.

The notion of the Third Element also comes into play in less constructive ways: Bitching about a third person seems to enable two people to bond easily - but does it lead to meaningful relationships? Or what about the example of American foreign policy: Was it really such a good idea to support the Taliban against the Russians just because they shared the same enemy?

I believe that relationships where the only third thing that connects people is a shared enmity or dislike for something - and no shared positive values - are ultimately less beneficial or satisfying... it's better to keep looking for positive dogs... woof!

This article was contributed by Christopher Heimann

Christopher comes to Impact Factory with a rich and varied background as a theatre director, playwright, teacher, communications and change management coach. Christopher's work in business draws on his background in theatre to create events that are interactive, challenging and fun. German Speaking Trainer

 

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

Are you or anyone you know good at conflict management?

We mean really good.

You know, able to enter into difficult discussions; confront tricky situations and people; ameliorate tensions between others; mediate, arbitrate and otherwise achieve resolution; even create conflict to get stuff out on the table.

Well we think those are the people who should be getting the Nobel Peace Prize for handling the every day tough stuff that other people shy away from.

Shy away from!

Actually, most people avoid conflict like the proverbial plague (we'd even venture to say that given the option of conflict or plague some might even debate with themselves for a minute!).

Ok, seriously folks, conflict management is hard.

You don't know what's going to happen.

Well, we can tell you what's going to happen.

People might: cry, get angry, stomp out, accuse you, get defensive, blame others.

Most importantly, what will happen is that you will have a whole lot of uncomfortable feelings sloshing around inside you, and most of us don't like uncomfortable feelings.

We want everything to be 'nice' and pleasant; for people to get on with us and each other; for everything to run smoothly.

So what do we do?

We don't do anything and hope it all goes away all by itself.

Does it ever!

When conflict isn't dealt with it festers, it creates bad feelings, it escalates, it gets blown out of proportion, it creates gossip and rumour, it creates pretending and making things up that you never know are real or not and finally, when conflict isn't dealt with it takes on a life of its own and soon it's controlling you instead of you controlling it.

Getting over the fear of Conflict Management

Ever hear about that book, 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'?

Conflict Management is about having those uncomfortable feelings and doing it anyway.

Dealing with conflict is a bit like going to the dentist: you hate the idea of it, you wait forever to make the appointment and you are sooo relived when it's over and most of the time, it wasn't so bad after all.

Conflict is actually good - just like getting your teeth cleaned.

We've said before and we'll say it again: the purpose of conflict is to arrive at a resolution.

The only way you can achieve resolution is if you get everything out in the open and muck about with it.

Leaving it alone will get you exactly nowhere.

If you avoid conflict management it will eventually bite you in the bum.
 

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

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