Every good organization here in Edmonton and across Western Canada has had its leadership read and review what has to be considered the classic text of leadership and interpersonal skills: How to Win Friends & Influence People. The information that is included within the lessons of this time tested and groundbreaking guidebook has helped thousands and thousands of leaders and managers to grow with increased success and opportunity.
Dale Carnegie Training knows that companies are imperfect places. Conflict does happen. Workplace problems happen every day in organizations and businesses no matter how well run they are or how positive the culture is; they are after all, human-driven. Issues can range from arguments to rational discussions. How we handle conflict can often be the difference between success and failure. Viewing conflict in a positive way is difficult to do, but attitude is everything in both struggles and differences. Interpersonal relationships must be nurtured to minimize issues and problems.
Imperfection is inevitable. Over time, even the best of employees will have variances in ideas, needs, wants, objectives and goals. There are as many levels of disagreements as there are people in business today.
We must learn from conflict and its resolution. The experience usually is a good one. It must be a growth experience.
Here are three important ways to minimize and manage conflict:
- Never criticize, condemn or complain: This one should be familiar to all of us. These three activities can create a lot of conflict.
- See things from the other’s point of view: Trying to see the points of an issue without judging helps manage most issues.
- Looking at conflict through openness and honesty: This seems to be the best strategy; ignoring the conflict often will allow it to grow.
Ask the employees involved in the situation:
- What is the conflict REALLY about?
- When did it begin?
- What is the history and current situation?
- Are there alternatives to move forward?
- Will everyone involved be happy with the results when it is facilitated?
By placing development and tolerance first, the issue has a chance to be stabilized. It is important for leadership to support the resolution and help each employee learn from the experience. It is truly how everyone wins friends and influences people.
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Photo: Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net