This Is How You Should Handle Conflict! - [website] Email Print
Published: 13th of Nov 2020 by: Staff Writer

How do you feel about conflict? Many of us tend to want to avoid conflict, but there are times when you will need to face the music and handle the situation head on. So how should conflict be approached and dealt with?

Obviously our core personality, together with our life experiences, tend to dictate our attitude towards situations which are seen as a threat. Some will come out fighting, others with freeze - (literally deer in the headlights kind of thing) - and still others will flee either physically and/or mentally.

Few people see conflict as an opportunity for growth - mainly because few of us are taught the skills to deal with it appropriately. The correct approach and requisite skill set enables us to investigate and identify the actual issue which is driving the conflict. Thus we're in a much stronger position to actually move towards a mutually beneficial resolution, and thus grow through the experience.

Here are 5 tips to deal with conflict and what to take into consideration when seeking resolution:

1. Firstly, check your heart. Sounds weird? Not really. Before you step into the arena, be very clear within yourself whether you're truly looking to resolve the issue or simply score points. If it's the former - good start. If it's the latter - get ready for a bloody nose, if not now, then certainly later when your opponent yanks you back into the arena for the inevitable rematch.

2. Have you actually investigated the issue lying at the bottom of the disagreement? So often, people are fighting over something completely different from the obviously apparent issue. Think back to spousal arguments, the wife is likely not furious that hubby left the top off the toothpaste that particular time, in actuality her resentment has been building because she feels he doesn't care enough to pay attention the things she values - such as drying the dishes when asked, not playing the TV so loud or procrastinating about fixing something around the house. (OK, I hear you shouting that I've just used a bunch of stereotypes - but, give me a break, these are hypothetical!)

3. Have you ascertained what each party actually requires in order to feel satisfied? Again, without asking them specifically, you could be seeking a solution which neither of them actually wants.

4. Once you're sure of the facts, always try to find common ground - agree on things on which you agree, before exploring those on which you disagree. An excellent way of ensuring each party perceives the other as person with whom they have much in common.

5. Stick to the facts - don't let emotion hold sway. Emotion clouds judgement. You should acknowledge how each person feels, but then draw them back to the facts - every time!

This subject is huge. There are so many aspects which need to be understood and tools which need to be implemented. We need to be taught how to approach conflict in a structured, objective manner. That's why we have put so much effort into developing our conflict handling courses - our 20 years in the business of soft skills training have facilitated a very real understanding of this subject.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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