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Jul 30

managers role when dealing with conflict

Published by Ralph Moody

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On previous blogs, we have looked at why we have conflict in the workplace, what is happening with the brain when we have conflict and last time, how to 'cage the chimp' in a conflict situation.  As a supervisor, manager or leader you will experience conflict at some stage in your life, it is inevitable. I would suggest if your a manager and never experienced it then you have probably (if you're honest) been avoiding it.   Ok some essentials to get you going when dealing with conflict as a manager:

Don’t lose your temper with team members– being aggressive never works, you may think you are winning, but it’s a long-term loss. Lead by example.

Don’t persist with impossible people– make sure you deal with them (it’s your role) If part of a group divide (split up).   

Don’t ignore tensions in your team– burying your head in the sand doesn’t mean it has gone away.  The quicker you deal with it, the better the outcome will be.

Tell the truth about how you see a situation – critical to be honest in a clear but controlled manner. Don't allow passion and enthusiasm to take over here otherwise; the chimp will take over!  Be clear but in control of yourself.

Try to see the problem from their angle – sometimes they may have a point! 

Use the conflict as a lever for change – conflict can be beneficial to implement a change.  This could be an area you know needs changing but could cause personnel issues.  Conflict is a great tool to get a change in an organisation.

Be positive when handling conflict – many of us are scared of conflict, but if you see it for what it is it can be a very positive experience.

Tackle problems head-on, don’t delay – the more you leave things, the worse it will become.  Do the things you fear most, first!

Cage the chimp – No matter how frustrating allowing the chimp to take control will result in a very negative situation.

As a Manager, it is imperative to understand that part of our role requires us to deal with conflict effectively.  When we know the skills and experience of how to deal with it, then it will make us a more efficient and effective.  Furthermore, the more you experience conflict, the easier it becomes.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.  To see courses where Ralph delivers see our website here.

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