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Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict Resolution Skills

Here are the main conflict resolution skills you need.

  1. Listening skills.
  2. Questioning skills.
  3. Note-taking skills.
  4. Creative problem-solving skills.
  5. Knowledge of your organisation's policies.
  6. Negotiation skills.
  7. Emotional management skills.

Conflict resolution skills are important, because conflicts can result in heavy losses for everyone involved.

To avoid suffering such losses, you need to find resolutions to conflicts, as quickly as possible.

1. Listening skills.

Whenever you are trying to resolve a conflict, the first thing to do is Get the Facts Straight.

Get the facts straight and separate them from the emotions, gut feelings, wild accusations and derogatory opinions.

In order to get the facts straight, you must open your ears and your mind and be prepared to listen, paying close attention to what is being said by each party in the conflict.

2. Questioning skills.

In conjunction with listening skills, you need to develop excellent questioning skills.

Most people don't tell the WHOLE truth about a situation, they tell an edited version of the truth. They don't necessarily lie, but they omit parts. Your job is to discover every relevant fact, and place the facts in order, on a timeline.

3. Note-taking skills.

You won't remember everything you hear, so you need to take accurate written notes of what the conflicting parties say. You should write these notes contemporaneously, or immediately after the conversation. Preferably you should show the notes to the person you are talking to and ask them to sign your notes, to endorse that they accurately reflect what was said.

4. Logical and creative problem solving.

Now you have the information, you must make sense of it. Apply as much logic and creative common sense as you can. Try to figure out what has actually happened and what you should do about it.

5. Knowledge of your organisation's policies.

In order to decide what options are logically possible, you must know your company policies and the laws which apply to this type of situation.

The law and company policy provide the framework within which any solution must fit.

6. Negotiation skills.

When you know what everyone has to say, what you think actually happened and what company policy is, then you need to negotiate the best way forward.

You need to find the middle ground between three fields.

  1. What you want,
  2. What they want,
  3. What is logically, (and legally) possible.

Take a look at this diagram:

Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People : Conflict Resolution Skills

You need to find the solution that fits all three fields.

7. Emotional management skills.

All through this process you will need to manage emotions. Your emotions, and theirs.

Emotions often run high and it is easy for them to get out of control. Bad things happen when emotions get out of control. So, it is important to moderate your language. Insist that they moderate their language.

The same for voice tones and body language. No shouting, No swearing, No pointing.

Keep the emotions under control and try to reason things through to a negotiated solution that is suitable to you, to them, and consistent with the law and organisation.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • How to Handle a Complaint
    It is vital that all staff are taught how to handle complaints in a professional manner. Follow this six step method for handling complaints successfully and improve your overall customer service.
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  • Dealing With Conflicts of Interest Within a Team
    All employees should be working together to achieve the organisation's ultimate aim. Any conflicts of interest within teams must be resolved quickly. So what is the best method for dealing with conflicts within a team?
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  • How to Manage Bullying in the Workplace
    If your job is to manage people, then it is highly likely that you will have to handle alleged bullying incidents. Here are some guidance notes on how to manage bullying.
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  • How to Handle the Workplace Bully
    People bully others for a number of reasons, but unless you deal with them quickly and decisively, the bullying will just carry on. Here we offer some useful advice on how to handle that workplace bully. Don't be a victim of bullying at work.
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  • Conflict Resolution Training - How to Manage Conflict
    Conflict is inevitable since we all have our own ideas about what is true, fair and good. How we handle conflict is important.
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Looking for Conflict Management Training?

If you're looking to develop your Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People Skills, you may find this Conflict Management Training Course beneficial:

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14 June
Manchester City
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26 June
London - Central
£475 +VAT
27 June
£475 +VAT
29 June
Online - Teams
£475 +VAT
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