October 24, 2017
Conflict is a part of our everyday lives, and that makes it difficult to avoid. Although we can’t always control our exposure to conflict in our professional and personal lives, we can approach conflict management in a way that makes the difference between a positive and a negative outcome.
In the workplace, conflict among employees may create a hostile environment and hinder communication and collaboration. It can also affect your reputation as a leader. By understanding how to skillfully manage conflict, you can negate its negative effects and even have it work to your advantage. Here’s some advice to guide this effort from AMA’s Conflict Management Workshop:
You may associate conflict with its potential for negative consequences. However, it can be productive when it is managed effectively. Consider these distinctions:
When is conflict destructive?
When can conflict be productive?
How can you deal with conflict effectively to promote a positive impact? The key is conflict management. To resolve a conflict and achieve your desired goal, you must be well-prepared for the interaction with the person you wish to address. Here are some strategies you can use:
Use conflict management techniques to develop your conflict awareness skills. These steps will help you identify conflict and gain some clarity about the situation:
Create an environment for conflict resolution. This environment should be fairly neutral and let the other party/parties know that you want to find some type of resolution or agreement to move forward.
Develop your conflict management strategy. Keep these points in mind to create an effective strategy:
Be clear about your desired outcome. Be honest with yourself and others about how you propose to resolve the issue. Think about possible reactions or responses the other person may have. Consider how you might respond to these reactions in a manner that promotes your goal and conflict resolution.
Managing conflict is a skill that can be enhanced through thoughtful deliberation and practice. Effectively managing conflict can enhance relationships, improve communication, and build trust.