Conflict is a part of life. We face conflict in business as well as in our personal lives. Most people will tell you they hate conflict. It takes too much time, energy and money away from what really matters. Unresolved conflict not only adds stress to our already hectic lives, but drains our resources and affects our ability to do our job. So what do we do? Avoidance is how many “handle” conflict, yet this merely adds to the problem by delaying its resolution. Conflict will not go away on its own. We need to actively do something to resolve it. If we know how to properly address it, conflict often can be a tremendous benefit to us and our business. To do this requires a skillset many of us simply do not utilize.
What is it we mean when we talk about a Conflict Resolution toolkit? There are twelve broad skills for successful conflict resolution. These twelve skills help us not only connect with others more efficiently, but effectively as well. The shift from adversaries to partners in solution creation enables us to move past our personal differences into result orientated possibilities and solutions increasing our productivity, our time, and reducing our bottom-line.
Skillfully dealing with conflict is an essential managerial tool. When we stop worrying and trying to hide from conflict we can realize how beneficial conflict can really be. For example it can point out our company’s inefficiencies, as well as its areas of expertise. This positive information from conflict often goes unrecognized because management and staff are taught that it is “fight” or “flight”. The reality, however, is that the best thing to do when faced with conflict is simply “flow” and to do that requires a conflict resolution skillset.