26 Feb Dealing with Conflict Successfully
Dealing with Conflict: The Basics
Dealing with conflict is not as daunting as it sounds. Conflict will hopefully not occur often, but it might happen occasionally, and it will be helpful for you to know how to deal with it before it arises. It could happen between you and someone else or it could happen between 2 of your team members. Either way, I would approach it the same way.
Conflict will usually mean a difference in opinion. I have had issues between team members before where they had a difference in opinion and it turned into an unprofessional argument between them. I was very conscious to remain professional myself by stopping the argument and separating them so that I could raise the relevant issues separately and effectively. Make sure that when you are dealing with conflict, even if your team members become unprofessional, you are the manager and you want to lead by example. Stay professional yourself and calmly disperse any disagreements.
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Getting on the same page
By way of example, let’s imagine you are in conflict with one of your team members. To deal with the situation initially, I would have a quiet conversation together away from anyone else. It is important to chat through both your opinions and what the precise disagreement is. Make sure you really hear what the other persons point of view is and try to understand their reasoning behind it. Repeat their points using different words and ask them to confirm that this is what they are trying to say to make sure you really understand their opinions.
Once you are both on the same page and understand each other’s point of view thoroughly, it is time to come up with a plan of how to resolve the issue. Focus on the outcome you want, whether that means both being on the same page eventually or agreeing to disagree but still being able to work harmoniously together. Implement steps to get to this outcome and agree future meetings in order to get there. Try to begin and make sure you maintain a collaborative relationship where you both want to overcome the conflict together.
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We are getting there!
When the conflict begins to be resolved, I would make a thing of congratulating each other. It is important to recognise how far you have come and that it is impressive for you to have got there. You will notice the conflict being dispersed over time when discussions about the issues and disagreements gradually turn in to ongoing and friendly chat between you both.
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