Mastering conflicts is a skill that sets leaders and successful managers apart from their peers. The art of resolving conflict in a professional and productive manner are able to get big projects done, keep customers happy, and get ahead. When you know how to effectively handle conflict, both your personal and professional life benefit. The ability to handle conflict has a massive impact on your success and your emotional intelligence.
1. They Know How To Recognize Conflict
Identifying conflict in the workplace and other settings is the first key to mastering it effectively. Ignoring conflicts is rarely helpful. Different people and organizations manifest conflict in different ways and it takes time to learn about these points. For example, conflict in a process driven company may look like slowed decision making and silences. In contrast, conflict at a rapidly growing startup company may involve shouting matches (and more!). Learning to identify conflict is what makes certain people stand out at conflict resolution.
2. They Work Through Conflict As An Opportunity
Successful people know that conflict presents both challenge and opportunity. For example, if a sales professional solves a problem posed by a customer then the customer is much more likely to buy again. Keeping the potential for growth in mind is a great way to motivate yourself to work through conflict.
3. They Read Body Language Effectively
Reading body language is a key skill needed to handle conflict effectively. For example, communication expert Vanessa Van Edwards explains that you can predict who will get punched in the face by reading body language. You may not realize that you already assess body language on a regular basis! Pay more attention to it and you’ll see just how much you notice in every situation, including conflict.
4. They Learn From The Best In Conflict Management
Masters of conflict resolution learn from others who have gone before them. They take the time to read books and use conflict resolution resources. Signing up for a single weekend workshop on conflict management is enough to radically improve your skills. Just like you hone other skills — paying special attention to conflict resolution can up your emotional intelligence drastically.
If you are frustrated with your approach to conflict, seek out insights from books, experts and mentors. Asking for advice and seeking constant improvement is a key reason that successful people stay on top.
5. They Focus On Their Actions and Choices
When you are faced with conflict, it can be difficult to think clearly. You may feel attacked by your boss, for example. Rather than focusing on blame “and who started it,” there is another approach to consider.
Ask yourself what choice you can make next to move forward. You can ask for a break from to reconsider your thoughts. You can also take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. Giving yourself a pause means you are more likely to come up with solutions (instead of escalating the conflict).
6. They Think About The Future
What comes to mind when you think about the future? For many people, the future suggests options and possibilities. Asking the other party to focus on the future is a helpful technique, especially if the discussion is going around in circles. Ask the other person what they want in the future. That kind of question will move the discussion closer to a solution.
7. They Show Respect For The Other Person
In our culture, we constantly see images of conflict – battles, hotly contended sports games, elections and more. Competition inspires us to do our best. However, successful masters of conflict never forget to show respect for the other person. Well-known expert William Ury proposes that showing respect for the other person – even during civil wars and high tension situations – is a simple way to move a discussion forward.
8. They Speak Up In Conflicts
Conflict is difficult. Some people respond to that reality by ignoring the situation. Often, avoiding conflict only makes the situation worse. That’s why masters of conflict resolution speak up and bring conflict situations into the open. This habit takes time and experience to develop. For example, it is often a wise idea to postpone addressing a conflict situation if you are in a public place. Instead, ask to meet the person privately and raise your concerns with them in a one-on-one setting.
Featured photo credit: Argument/RyanMcGuire via pixabay.com