Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Dealing with Conflict

In my training and coaching practice I come across many people who say not dealing with conflict is one of their biggest struggles. We use a coaching Root Cause tool that lays bare the recurring problems that people experience. It identifies the root cause of the problem, but so often people, because the can't deal with conflict, feel powerless to make changes. This invariably means they live with their issues and the stress that doing nothing brings! 

Here is what Huffington Post had to say ... 

"Most people don't like conflict. A recent study of CEO's found that fear of conflict was one of the seven deadly sins CEOs won't admit. The problem is, avoiding conflict doesn't reduce tension, if anything, it escalates it. Issues become bigger, resentment grows, people become disengaged, and feel powerless to solve their problems. A reluctance to deal with conflict is hugely detrimental to business. Good ideas remain unspoken, people create silos, and leaders don't get the information they need because everyone is afraid to bring up potentially contentious issues. 

The post mortem on any business failure almost always reveals critical information went unaddressed because somebody was afraid to discuss it. 
Avoiding conflict also wreaks havoc on relationships. Have you ever been around someone who was frustrated or angry, but doesn't want to talk about it? They ooze resentment."
Conflict is a reality of life, so learning to manage conflict is an essential and very valuable skill that people can learn.
For many years we taught Managing Conflict as part of an amazing Influencing People training course we ran. We provided people with 5 strategies and a process for managing conflict and it worked marvellously well.
The strategies were based on the two key ingredients:-
  • Levels of cooperation
  • Levels of assertiveness

The process to follow was called R.E.S.U.L.T.

Learning to manage conflict effectively is a very empowering experience. Our method of teaching today is through a wonderful supportive coaching programme in which we take people through the theory. Then guide and coach them through dealing with their specific conflicts. This way they start to build up their managing conflict 'muscle' and resolve to never back away from a conflict unless they have chosen to do so as part of their strategy!

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