The referee, the umpire, the adjudicator, these people are often the most hated people in sport or in the position. They simply can’t win, They try to see things from both sides and often end up annoying someone with their decision. One might argue that conflict resolution is an art. It is definitely a challenge. You must carefully balance the expectations of both sides, remain impartial, whilst evaluating the available resources, work through intense emotions, and, most importantly, maintain your own well-being. As a leader, your ability to resolve conflicts is important to the success of your team and the happiness of your employees. You can sense a building dispute amongst some of your colleagues, partners, and perhaps even clients, and you’re not sure whether to confront it or ignore it.
Well, we may all be wishing to work in an organisation that is free of tensions and conflicts, but we know we can’t. A conflict is a form of communication that allows us to work together to solve problems and to improve our surroundings so that we may flourish in them.
When conflict occurs, what should one consider to manage it effectively?
- Should you be defensive? – The customer is not around to hear your justifications. Instead of making things better, justifying your actions may make things worse since it may seem that you do not want to accept responsibility for your actions. Furthermore, people may believe that you are not really listening to their concerns and are just concerned with ‘cleaning your reputation.’
- Self-care check – You must emotionally anchor yourself before engaging in any conflict management pursuits. Stress hormones are released in the brain quickly when you take a thoughtful pause before entering a dispute. That way, you’ll arrive at the meeting with a clear mind and an open heart. You may walk outside and get some fresh air, or you can just smile first.
- Minding your tone – This is notably vital to online customer service and social media engagements . Many disagreements occur because we cannot see the other person’s reactions and body language when we communicate online. Also, while speaking, maintain a cool tone to demonstrate that you are willing to address the points while taking into account opposing views.