I thought I would write about something that is very important to me from a management perspective, dealing with conflict and over the next four management blogs I want to provide you with some essentials when dealing with conflict.  The ability to deal with conflict is essential for everything in life.  How we deal with it as a manager or leader, it is vital.   The first thing I want to talk about is where the conflict comes from, and in this blog, I want to focus on from a perspective of someone who regularly has experienced conflict or someone who has experience of regular conflict.

I know this of course because I have had to deal with conflict throughout much of my life and in my working life as a manager, it was something I like many of us had to deal with. Of course, I am not just speaking about managing conflict as a manager; I had to deal with that.  I am also talking about conflict in our everyday lives. First of all, it is essential that you know that I have struggled with conflict in that I know I can quickly get angry and frustrated with people.   It was only after educating myself and having been coached by my fantastic wife that eventually I can identify why `I got upset; understanding this is the first part of this series.

We reality is that we all carry baggage from our early lives.  We are ultimately conditioned by our parents in how we behave.  Moreover, we are all conditioned by our environment and if this conditioning is repeated again and again before we know it the behaviour is learned and adopted.

This behaviour is then applied in our subconscious brain and before you know it a paradigm is formed.  A paradigm is a way of thinking, and this then makes us react without having to think about it; we do think but this thinking is subconscious thinking, and we do it automatically

in the area of conflict this could be anything from believing we should fight back for certain rights or injustices or fighting back against management. From a managers perspective, it could be a belief that you have to be right and that if you are not you are weak.   We all have paradigms and some are brilliant and others are not effective.

The best bit is that paradigms can be changed, of course, this is easy to say but often very difficult to do.  However, it can be done through repetition and repetition, the same way they are created.

So really important to understand when it all goes wrong where that behaviour comes from, a way of thinking.  Next management blog we are going to look at the brain and how our minds can cause us massive issues when dealing with conflict.

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.