Change Management Series: What Are Some of the Top Conflict Resolution Skills?
[feat-img-left] Conflict resolution is an important set of skills to help employees and management perform at their best when working with other individuals. Nobody works in a vacuum, and we often depend on our interactions with others to get our jobs done. And with varying personalities and different needs and objectives constantly at play, inevitably conflict can arise. But there is a simple tool set of skills that help resolve issues when used effectively. Here is an overview of those top conflict resolution skills you can plan to use while you develop your change management strategy.
Likely the most important skill in effective conflict resolution is assertiveness. Without it, you likely will end up completely avoiding conflict or smoothing over issues with little regard to your own concerns and needs. To be assertive, you need to express your views clearly and firmly, but without aggression. You can do this by describing the situation, expressing your feelings, and specify what you want done.
Active Listening
Another skill necessary for effective conflict resolution is active listening. This means ensuring that you fully understand the position of those involved in the conflict. This helps clarify any unspoken issues or hesitations and makes sure everyone is on the same page so that an agreeable resolution can be met. Active listening requires good eye contact, an attentive posture, mirroring of the individual you are listening to, and verbal cues that show the speaker that you understand what they are trying to communicate.
Emotional Intelligence
Understanding others is key to effective conflict resolution as it helps set the stage for active listening and seeking a win-win outcome. Emotional intelligence is defined by how we handle our relationships with ourselves and others. Things like self-awareness, self-regulation, and understanding others all help in reaching common ground to build bonds and encourage cooperation.
In conflict, you have a choice as to what kind of resolution you want to seek. By expressing concern for yourself alone, you likely will end up in an abjectly competitive resolution, where there is one clear winner and one clear loser. By expressing concern for others alone, the resolution is often false as your needs have not been met. By balancing both concern for yourself and concern for others, you are better able to reach a collaborative or at least compromise-based resolution, which is better known as a win-win. Just as you can’t reach that ideal resolution by using only your skills in asserting yourself, you can’t reach it without empathy. This is the skill that is required to put yourself in other people’s shoes and support those involved to do the same.
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For more tips on how to manage conflict in a positive way, reach out to our team of experts at Clarity Consultants today. We can help you find the talent and build the strategy for a more cooperative and collaborative 2017.

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