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Conflict: don’t avoid it – manage it
19 Jul

Conflict: don’t avoid it – manage it

Conflict and disagreement are an inevitable part of working life, so do you have a plan on how to manage it?

 

It is possible to actually benefit from conflict, resolving it in an effective way whilst avoiding damage to relationships. This is a key interpersonal skill – at all levels. Move in the right direction by following three basic principles: respect, negotiate and compromise.

 

Respect yourself, and others

We talk a lot about how we all perceive the world in different ways, and this is what makes us unique. Be honest with yourself and take time to understand the events, behaviours, or topics of conversation that might ‘trigger’ anger or conflict in you. Recognising these triggers is the first step towards helping to control your emotions when these issues arise.

Resist the urge to dismiss opinions and thoughts. Ask people to explain more about their thinking, and if you disagree, suggest they explain what the advantages are. Understanding their motives makes it all the more easy to find a common viewpoint and resolution.

Preventing conflict from escalating can often be done by just acknowledging that there is a disagreement. Stating a simple fact out loud – “We obviously don’t agree on this” – makes everyone stop and think.

It’s important to know when to walk away from a dispute – particularly if you feel like you’re losing control of your emotions. Separating yourself from the conflict gives you time to clear your head, and some space in order to think of a constructive way to respond.

 

Negotiating to work through the conflict

Keep yourself calm by controlling your breathing. In times of anger or stress we often respond by breathing rapidly, which depletes our oxygen and raises our blood pressure, which in turn can cloud our judgement.

It can be difficult, but try to use the “shut up and listen” technique as you breathe slowly. Stay quiet and really aim to listen to what the other person is saying. This will mean you may be able to find something in the other person’s argument that you can actually agree with.

The Path Of Conflict
This is a good time to tell them that you agree with them on that particular point, and shows them that you are trying to understand their point of view. Hopefully, in turn, they may be more willing to listen to you. Think of the conflict in terms of the issue – not the person – and try to keep the focus on one issue at a time.

If you can – try to forget about the concept of winning, or losing. Working together to find a resolution means you stop trying to “defeat” the other person and are receptive to each other’s good ideas!

 

Compromise and move on

Remember, you can’t force others to agree with you. You must have an open mind, and (if necessary) be willing to admit that you are wrong. This helps to prevent any possibility of lingering hostility; and may mean that others will feel more comfortable admitting their own mistakes in future.

After having a disagreement with someone, it can be helpful to acknowledge that you’ve both been part the resolution to the conflict by thanking them for their willingness to reach a solution.

If appropriate, arrange a time to catch-up again in the future. Some time to reflect on the conflict and the resolution can be useful and meeting up again helps to preserve and develop the relationship. You don’t need to specifically talk about the conflict, but move on to learn more about each other to help you work together going forward.

 

Watch our two minute tips video for more support – it was inspired by and published around the time of the EU referendum…which was a time of some ‘interesting’ conflict!

 

 

At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Find out more about our interpersonal skills workshops and get in touch to find out how we can help you and your people to effectively resolve conflict.

Handling Difficult Conversations: have you got an elephant in the room?
28 Jun

Handling Difficult Conversations: have you got an elephant in the room?

rtt difficult conversations

Difficult conversations can be extremely daunting and all too often we choose to avoid them or dilute the message that we really want to give.

 

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) 66% of people feel stressed knowing that there is a difficult conversation on the horizon, which would indicate that many of us have too many elephants roaming loose in our lives…so what can we do remove them? In fact, avoidance tactics are being used in abundance!

 

difficult conversations stats
 

At work, difficult conversations are often linked to poor performance, behaviours or managing personality clashes. In our personal lives it can be anything from someone leaving the lid off the toothpaste to the more serious dynamics of a relationship. Usually, these conversations need to be had on a one-to-one basis and no matter how serious the issue, they can really test our communication skills.

 

A lot of the reasons for avoidance often stem from a lack of confidence. It’s so normal for us to predict and expect a negative outcome and therefore we’re setting ourselves up to fail before we even begin. However it doesn’t have to be like that, if you are unhappy or upset about a situation or behaviour then why would you allow the pain to continue by putting up with it? We’re not suggesting that you start to go around shouting and being demanding with everyone that you’re unhappy with, in fact quite the opposite.

 

Here are five simple steps that can help you to have a meaningful and healthy discussion:

1. Don’t put it off

Stop thinking “it’s not worth it’ or ‘I’ll wait to see what happens’. Be brave, take a deep breath and start to take back control of the situation. The first step is to give you and them time to cool off and then plan a good time to meet, allowing plenty of time for reflection and consideration of each others points.

2. Prepare

Take some time to think about what you want to raise and how you’re going to articulate it. Don’t try to ‘plan’ the conversation as they rarely go the way you think they will, however preparing will help you to be confident in want you want to address and be really clear and confident in what you want to address.

3. Listen

A bad habit that many of us have is to focus on what WE want to say next rather than actually listening to what is being said to us. By hearing and acknowledging the other persons point of view you are actually showing how much you care.

4. Be respectful

Use direct and non-emotive language that focuses on the facts and describes a situation without being emotional. Natural language, facts and specific examples will stop this becoming a personal attack and help to focus on resolving the issue.

5. Expect a positive outcome

If you think it’s going to be disaster then it probably will be. Try thinking less about it being ‘difficult’ and more about having an open and honest conversation. The topic may be a little tricky or sensitive but by focusing on positive alternatives and solution’s means you’re more likely to get an outcome that is beneficial for everyone.

Watch our short Facebook Live video below for more help on having difficult conversations and join our free Facebook group to be a part of future Lives on a range of personal and professional development topics!

 

 

 

Good luck going forth and having your conversations! Find out more about our employee training and development and interpersonal skills workshops or get in touch for further support!

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!
06 Mar

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!

We promise to keep it brief with just a few questions and then give you a chance to tell us any other webinar-thoughts at the end!

 

Be sure to tell us your name and email address if you’d like to be in with the chance of winning a free developmental coaching session

We need your response by Friday 17th March to be entered into the draw and the lucky winner will be contacted by email.

 

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