By now, virtually every one of us here in Southeast Michigan and across Detroit have read the book that is the often considered the bible of interpersonal skills: How to Win Friends & Influence People. The advice found within its pages has carried an unlimited amount of people into the journey of success and opportunity.
But what happens when an interpersonal business relationship goes awry? What happens when there is a problem that cannot be worked out? Workplace conflict does happen in organizations, in partnerships, and even in friendships. Conflict can range from verbal arguments to even calm rational discussions. Every one of us is involved with at least one as this is being read. It is the most common least pleasant derivative of interpersonal relationships.
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.
It is interesting to note that conflict is indeed inevitable. Over time, even the best of friends and partners will have differences in ideas, needs, wants, and goals. There are as many levels of disagreements and differences as there are people in the world.
But how do we make conflict beneficial? How do we make it a true learning and growing experience. Here are a couple of 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 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.
- What is the conflict REALLY about?
- When did it start?
- What has been said?
- Is it resolvable?
- Will you be happy with the results no matter how it ends?
By placing maturity and patience first, with a healthy dose of honesty, a conflict has a chance to be fixed. It is good to know that no matter what happens we will have given it our best shot to minimize resolve the situation.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MICarnegie.
Photo: Stuart Miles, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net