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How to Handle Workplace Conflict

How to handle workplace conflict

How to Handle Workplace Conflict

Conflict is bound to happen because; people sometimes disagree.

The big question is: How well do you handle conflicts?

Some people don't handle conflicts very well because they come-on too strong; they say too much and they make the situation worse.

On the other hand, some people are too passive and don't say anything.

The best way forward is to find the middle ground between "coming on too strong" and "not saying enough".

Learn how to manage conflict situations logically, confidently and quickly.

How to Perfect your conflict management skills

The first step is to realize that Conflicts come in two basic types.

  1. Conflicts that based on poor communication.
  2. Conflicts based on poor behaviour.

Managing conflict based on poor communication.

Many conflicts are based on poor communication that later lead to misunderstandings. Then the misunderstandings cause "wrong actions" and therefore conflict situations.

Your aim is to minimise the chances of conflict by specifying your message and doing everything possible to eliminate misunderstandings.

Define all ambiguous messages, such as "I need that document, ASAP" or "Please make sure you come appropriately dressed".

Use quantitative, numerical language, whenever possible. Put numbers on your message. "I need that document, ASAP, no later than 6pm today."

Identify time lines so that there is no confusion about dates and times.

Always try to make your language positive, friendly, assertive and exact. Beware of unintended negative commands such as:

  • "Don't panic!"
  • "Don't worry"
  • "Don't be late, tomorrow"

Give positive commands such as, "Stay calm". "Make sure you are there before 9 o'clock".

Don't allow your message to have multiple possible meanings.

You need to make sure that there is only ONE possible meaning derivable from your message.

What are the correct principles of rational conflict management?

Use your sense of logic and reason to resolve conflict; don't use avoidance, nor high emotions such as anger or upset.

When in conflict, never criticise their personality. Instead, comment only on their behaviour.

When in conflict, use only factual specific language. Don't use emotionally charged, opinionated, derogatory or accusational language.

If you can, always prepare your message in advance. Think about what you will say, and think about what you will refrain from saying.

Make sure you get the time and place right. Don't have the conflict in front of a big audience.

Don't argue about the past; you can't change the past. If you are going to argue, then make sure that you are arguing about the future.

You can change the future. You can't change the past.

Be very aware of your voice tones and body language. Don't point your finger at anyone.

When in conflict, never shout at people. Instead, speak slowly and calmly with low voice tones.

Please, never swear or make threats. Instead, make some logical suggestions as to the best way out of the conflict situation.

If the person makes any move towards doing what you want, then give immediate praise for any positive move, on their part.

If you have gained an agreement; don't linger. Leave!

When in conflict keep control of your word.

Conflict Management Training Course Quiz

People disagree, so conflict needs to be resolved quickly and without fuss. Try our Conflict Management Course quiz to discover where your conflict skills are strongest, and where they are not so strong.

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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.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

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 Deal with Conflict Situations
    Conflict is inevitable when dealing with people who do not think or act the way you believe to be correct. Learning how to handle conflict situations is important.
    Read Article >
  • 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.
    Read Article >
  • De-escalation Skills
    De-escalation of a difficult situation is vital, in order to avoid it becoming a crisis or conflict. Take a look at these de-escalation techniques you should master that will allow you to take control of a situation and defuse a potential conflict.
    Read Article >
  • Constructive Criticism
    Your ultimate success requires that you develop the ability to TAKE criticism in an adult manner.
    Read Article >
  • 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.
    Read Article >

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:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

24 January
Online - Teams
£450 +VAT
26 January
Manchester City
£450 +VAT
Course Full
31 January
Birmingham City
£450 +VAT
2 February
Bristol
£450 +VAT
Course Full
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