Managing Conflict

Managing Conflict

In the second of our series of Coaching ‘Talent Tips’ to assist with the twelve key areas that tend to be addressed in Executive Coaching, we look at Managing Conflict to build better working relationships, which was the most important issue for 43% of CEOs recently surveyed by Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ahead of any Coaching or Training interventions at Natural Talent we recommend that every Programme begins with some form of Assessment, which may include a Personality Profile or 360 Feedback Process, in order to provide an objective view of key development areas and Leadership and Management Competencies, to be worked on.

Often Personality Profiles, such as the Strength Deployment Indicator, will highlight an individuals’ likely approach to conflict.  In addition we may use the Thomas Kilmann model to identify how the Coaching client approaches managing conflict.  This may include techniques such as avoidance, being accommodating, compromising, collaborating or often with more assertive individuals a competing approach.

10 Steps to deal with Conflict

1. Take a deep breath before reacting in a conflict situation; try to keep calm by controlling your breathing and thinking before you speak.   Watch your body language: avoid pointing or thumping your fist on a table!

2.  Stay objective and don’t get personal; use neutral words and ‘I’ and ‘We’ rather than ‘You’

3. Clarify the issue that is causing the disagreement because often this can become lost or muddled in a heated debate

4. Ask Open Questions to establish the facts: ‘What, When, Where?’ and ‘How, What?’ to obtain more detail and understand the values and feelings of the other person which may be driving their argument

5. Be aware that asking ‘Why?’ can sometimes sound judgemental

6. Look at different options available and generate alternative solutions

7. If somebody is making an objection to your proposal, it can be useful to respond with a question.  Use questions to encourage constructive thinking:

If we can’t start this meeting now, when would be a better time

8. Voice your concerns sincerely and listen carefully to the concerns of the other party; actively listen by nodding and summarising what the other person says

9. Learn to tolerate and explore the reasons behind the differences in opinions because opposing views can often spark the best and creative ideas:

What do you consider to be the fundamental thing that we should aim to achieve

10. Confirm the solutions and actions to be taken in order to avoid any further misunderstanding

For a complimentary Personality Assessment or more Coaching ‘Talent Tips’, please contact us

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