Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time. Learning how to deal with conflict—rather than avoiding it—is crucial. When conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. By learning these skills for conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing.
Good leaders are great at resolving conflict. Great leaders keep conflict from arising in the first place. Here’s how they do it.
Accept the inevitability of conflict in management
Recognize that addressing it is part of the job. Don’t waste energy ruminating about it, and don’t feel bad about it. Just accept it for what it is: It comes with the managerial territory.
Don’t be a conflict-avoider
Difficult interpersonal workplace problems won’t disappear by ignoring them; they’ll only get worse. People who avoid Chronic conflict,will end up losing the respect of their employees – and their own management.
Even when provoked, keep a close hold on your temper; stay as calm as you possibly can. There are some memorable lines from the famous Rudyard Kipling poem If: If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you/If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you/But make allowance for their doubting too… And after several verses the poem concludes: Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it/And – which is more – you’ll be a man, my son. (Or a woman… Kipling wrote this in 1895.) Though it wasn’t written for business, I always felt there was management relevance in the message.
Maintain the moral high ground
A close cousin to the point directly above. You’remanagement. You’re the voice of reason. Don’t lose control or pull rank or cede the moral high ground – calm control is a much more advantageous position manage and negotiate from.
Conflict in the workplace can be incredibly destructive to good teamwork.
Managed in the wrong way, real and legitimate differences between people can quickly spiral out of control, resulting in situations where co-operation breaks down and the team’s mission is threatened. This is particularly the case where the wrong approaches to conflict resolution are used.
To calm these situations down, it helps to take a positive approach to conflict resolution, where discussion is courteous and non-confrontational, and the focus is on issues rather than on individuals. If this is done, then, as long as people listen carefully and explore facts, issues and possible solutions properly, conflict can often be resolved effectively.