How do you manage conflict at work?
In this short tutorial we’ll explore how managing conflict is a critical management skill. Whenever you have a group of employees, conflict and tension aren’t far away.
As managers, we are employed to manage tensions and reduce conflict effectively. This means managing diverse viewpoints to gather feedback. It means viewing tensions as a driver of innovation and change. It means seeing conflict as an opportunity if we are to be successful in managing tensions effectively.
Four Key Myths on Workplace Conflict
Conflict is always going to happen. It’s unavoidable.Myth Number 1
It’s clear that the world comprises different personality types, belief systems, priorities and outlooks. From personal experience, you’ll be able to empathise with the tension that can be present. However, tension is not the same as conflict and conflict is not inevitable. Tension can be managed and the fallout associated with unmanaged conflict can be avoided.
Conflict never ends wellMyth Number 2
Tension often arrives from change and differing viewpoints. Whilst an absence of different views leaves a team static, stale and moribund. Use this tension to explore new ideas, invite feedback, and improve how your team does things. Conflict can be the door to improvement.
Personalities will always clashMyth Number 3
Not necessarily. When colleagues say “it’s just my personality type” they are reneging responsibility for their behaviour. It is what we do which festers conflict, not who we are. Who we are works well when managed effectively within a team. Embrace it!
Conflict is an excuse for poor behaviourMyth Number 4
Wrong. Poor behaviour is neither inevitable, necessary or justified.
Managing conflict requires effort, energy and the use of learned skills. However, it is entirely within your responsibility as a manager to manage tensions and to use them to drive growth.
Training in Managing Conflict
Developing skills in managing tensions and conflict in the workplace can be learned on a conflict management training course.