Success Tip: How to manage conflict in the workplace
Have you noticed that we can’t win a conflict, argument or a fight?
Madeleine Morgan of Growu writes:
- For all the wars that are fought, there are rarely long-lasting, stable and positive outcomes…even for the ‘winners’?
- Even the positive ‘wars’ like ‘war on want’, ‘war on drugs’ and ‘war on crime’ don’t seem to reach their objectives. Instead, these catchy sound bites and rallying cries often turn into empty slogans.
- In our personal and working lives, we may use a war of words or our powerful position to get our way when we are in conflict with others but often at the cost of the relationship.
Why can’t we win a conflict or an argument?
Well, when we declare war, whether it’s literally or in some other form like an angry argument, taking sides or initiating a dispute, we trigger off resistance in other people. Those people often experience an emotional hijack where they feel almost compelled to fight back with all the weapons at their disposal or run away and fight us covertly.
No, you can’t win a fight or a conflict but you can win-win and resolve one.
5 Top Tips for Dealing with Conflict Confidently and Skilfully
Here are five simple and amazingly effective tips to help you resolve a conflict in your work and personal life:
- Prevent conflicts happening in the first place – once people are very emotional it’s harder to deal with conflicts and arguments so take preventive action. For instance, check you both are going away with the same understanding from a conversation to prevent an ‘I thought you meant…’ argument.
- Disagreements are normal – anticipate objections or possible communication issues and plan to overcome them – preparation is key. For instance, if you’re putting forward an idea or making a decision, think of all the people who will be affected by it, what the objections might be and how to overcome those objections before you put the idea forward. The same goes for when you’re selling a product or service.
- Deal with actual or potential conflicts and disagreements in a timely way – don’t let conflicts and disagreements fester. I remember I was attending a workshop once and I noticed one of the other delegates blanked me every time we were in the same discussion group. Instead of getting upset and speculating on all the negative reasons there might be for this I asked him, curiously, what was prompting him to do that. He wasn’t sure at first and then he realised I reminded him of an ex-girlfriend and the relationship had ended badly. It was nice to know his reaction wasn’t personal and we got on well after that. It was great that he was willing to talk about it. Which brings me to my next tip…
- When people want to discuss with you a negative reaction you’re having, be honest and willing to discuss it constructively. And… don’t brush them off by saying you’re ‘fine’ when you’re not. If you’re not ready to discuss something, arrange a better time to discuss it as soon as possible.
- Avoid putting fuel on the fire of conflicts by complaining about someone behind their back – it’s tempting to get sympathy but it’s not fair…unless you’re talking to someone like a life or business coach who is helping you to resolve things productively. After all. If someone had an issue with you, who would you hope they would speak to first – you, or the rest of the world?
What’s your next step to making your personal and working relationships work for you?
- Free Successful Relationships Coaching Discovery Session
Is having great working or personal relationships a must for you in 2015? Are challenges in your work and personal relationships holding you back in your career, your business or your personal life and frustrating you?
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Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and confident about making 2015 your best year yet for personal and working relationships.
If you would like to apply for a session, just email me and tell me what days/times would suit you: firstname.lastname@example.org
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