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Conflict Communication Skills

Conflict communication skills


You have to manage different character types.
Some people are easy to manage and some people are not easy.
You may find some people difficult to manage; especially in a conflict situation.

Let us think of a continuum with extremes of character on each end.

  1. On one end are the "toughies".
  2. On the other end are the "softies".

The toughies are:

  • More confident
  • More articulate
  • Old hands
  • Know the ropes
  • Strong characters

Softies are:

  • Less confident
  • Introverted
  • Less sure of themselves
  • Inexperienced

Conflict Management

Conflict Management Training

Conflict is inevitable, because people disagree. Therefore, you must be able to handle conflict situations effectively. You must know how to be assertive, clear and professional (not emotional, upset and angry) whilst in conflict. If you want to learn more on how to achieve this, please click here to see our conflict management training.

You need to deliver the same type of message to varying types

So in some ways:
Your message must be THE SAME.

In other ways:
Your message must NOT BE THE SAME- it must be variable.

Your message must be THE SAME because the content will be the same for everyone.
Everyone is treated according to the same rules and principles.

Everyone is treated by you:

  • Fairly
  • In accordance with the law
  • In accordance with company policy
  • In accordance with the principles of professional politeness

That said, you need to be able to vary your delivery according to the nature of the person.
So, in some ways your message must NOT BE THE SAME- it must be variable.

How to talk to a" toughie"

Vary your Body language.


Be upright. Either standing or seated.

Eye contact

Reflective of theirs levels of eye contact.
If they do look at your eyes, you should look back into their eyes.

If they do not look into your eyes; do not glare into theirs.


  • No pointing
  • Don't point your finger
  • Don't point your pen

If you want to gesture: Use open hand- palm down gestures to make emphasis.

Voice tone

More volume than normal

More intensity than normal

How to talk to a "softy"
Vary your Body language


Be sat down, and or have a relaxed posture

Eye contact:

Less direct eye contact: Intermittent eye contact


Use not many hand gestures
Adopt a more muted style

Voice tone:

Volume: Use a low volume
Intensity: Use low intensity voice tones

The Key points to remember:

The way you deliver your message must be:

  1. The same in terms of content.
  2. Variable in terms of style.

The style should vary NOT according to your mood.
The style should vary according to the nature of the person you are talking to.

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Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

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    Managing difficult people At work, are there some people that are difficult to deal with? Yes. The problem is this: you don't really get on with these people, but you cannot avoid them, because you work with them. In your private life you can choose with whom you spend your time...
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  • Using Reason to Handle Difficult People
    If you wish to get on with difficult people, then appeal to their sense of reason. Treat all problems, and all people according to the principles of reason.
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  • Giving constructive criticism
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  • Learn How to Take Criticism
    Critical feedback is important information. It tells us that what we are doing is not working and that we need to change our approach.
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  • How to give constructive criticism
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