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Leadership & Communication

Conflict management – keeping your head while others are losing theirs

15 Jul 2013, by Informa Insights

Conflict is an everyday occurrence in most workplaces, and while some issues may resolve themselves, leaving problems to fester can blow up in your face.

This is where effective conflict management skills become a great asset, enabling you to take control of the situation before tempers flare and egos are bruised.

So how can you guarantee that you’ll keep your head, while others around you are losing theirs?

Gather a group

As a manager or leader, you should gather the conflicting parties together to talk about the problems at hand.

Don’t delay. As soon as trouble appears on the horizon, you should be prepared to cut it off before it creates an unhappy working environment.

Stay cool, calm and collected

Whether you are at the centre of conflict or are simply caught in the middle of opposing forces, being able to control your emotions is vital.

Angry comments can be made in the heat of the moment, but you shouldn’t let this get to you – instead, be calm, non-defensive and respectful of other people’s opinions.

Listen carefully to grievances

If you’re in a position of power, it can be tempting to simply stamp out any conflict with an iron fist, but this may lead to bitterness and resentment among your colleagues, customers or clients.

Instead, listen to all sides of the argument before considering ways to troubleshoot the problem. People will appreciate having a platform to discuss their grievances and it will give you time to think about your options.

Don’t take sides

It is important to be seen not to take sides. Listening impartially to all opinions should help you to come up with a solution that keeps everyone content.

Even if you can’t please everyone, you should at least make sure your outcome is fair and explain your reasoning.

Register your interest for a conflict management masterclass. The course examines the psychology behind the practice of conflict management & provides participants with skills & resources to manage & resolve conflict – to improve team cohesion, empathy, increase productivity & reduce stress-related leave.

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