Conflict Resolution Is The New Must-Have Skill for Managers

Posted on June 5, 2024 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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According to Gartner’s HR Work Trends report, skill in managing conflict is one of the top concerns for HR leaders building a resilient workforce. They explain why;

“There is an astonishing amount of potential for employee conflict currently, including geopolitical crises, labor strikes, climate change, pushback to DEI efforts, and upcoming elections for half of the globe. As ideological tensions intensify, only 26% of employees say that members of their team share similar opinions on socio-political issues. Conflict between employees at all levels will significantly damage both individual and team performance.”

The opportunity for conflict is only increasing, for sure. But instead of being a cause for alarm, it can be an opportunity. Companies who try to avoid or minimize the conflict will fall behind. That’s because avoiding conflict is drama.

Drama is what happens when conflict is misused in negative ways.

Leaders who turn conflict into drama;

  • Avoid difficult conversations
  • Capitulate when pushed
  • Shut down when they don’t feel heard
  • Use passive-aggressive tactics to get what they want
  • Blame others for how they feel
  • Manipulate to achieve ulterior motives
  • Use threats to get compliance
  • Double-down on failing strategies

We need to stop the drama, not the conflict. There’s opportunity in conflict. The Gartner report emphasizes that good conflict negotiation is not intuitive and that managers need specific training and shadowing opportunities to learn the skills.

Leaders who turn conflict into positive results;

  • Empathize to build emotional connection
  • Validate feelings without condoning behavior
  • Share their own emotional experiences
  • Ask curious questions to learn about others’ perspectives
  • Look for synergy
  • Point out strengths
  • Adjust to new information
  • Clarify their boundaries without attack or blame
  • Ask for new behaviors without threats
  • Own up to their own mistakes

Stewardship of conflict energy is one of the most critical leadership competencies. It makes the difference between toxic cultures of drama, and productive cultures of connection, innovation and performance.

Conflict, managed productively, can actually build more trusting, higher performing teams.

Leaders can build their drama resilience through Compassionate Accountability®. Ask us how.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2024

A Must-Have Conflict Guide for Managers

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