Conflict is everywhere, in the form of disputes between coworkers, family, friends, neighbors, institutions and agencies. It arises because of differences of interests and positions; and it can be part of an ingrained pattern of dynamics between people, including “bad blood,” or a history of tension and hostilities. But conflict does not automatically have to imply that it is destructive, involve aggression, or best avoided. How you engage in conflict goes a long way to getting satisfactory outcomes, and can be the source of deepening trust and improved relationships.
A 2013 survey of 200 CEOs by Stanford University identified conflict management as the skills CEOs most want to develop. “When the CEO avoids conflict,” wrote the associate editor of Harvard Business Review (August 2013), “it can shut down the whole organization: decisions are not made and problems fester, creating a domino effect of unproductive behaviors… A CEO who can manage and channel conflict…can get to the root of issues, apply rigor to the team’s thinking, and, ultimately drive the best outcomes.”
Like resilience and mindfulness, learning to work constructively with conflict is a lifelong journey, and easier to learn in theory than in practice. Yet understanding why people get into conflict and how to get out of it can go a long way to learning how to manage it collaboratively and avoid entrenchment or escalation.
Handling Conflict is offered as a one- to five- day training and/or facilitation, with presentation of concepts, exercises, role plays and games. Modules of this training include:
- The Dynamics of Conflict and Why They Occur
- Interest-based Negotiation
- Essential Communication Skills in Conflict
- Collaboration Skills for Leaders
Contact me if you would like to discuss Conflict Management Training, Facilitation, or Coaching.