As we all know, sometimes life throws up unexpected problems or situations that we would rather not have to deal with. When there are arguments or disagreements, whether at home or in the workplace, it’s easy to put them in the ‘too hard’ basket and hope things will get better by themselves somehow: the run and hide solution (AKA the head-in-sand solution).
Does ignoring a problem make it go away? Not in my experience. Over the years of training that we’ve done I’ve learnt that confronting an issue and dealing with it openly is much more effective than pretending it’s not happening. These are extremely effective skills that anyone can learn, but most people don’t take the time to do so – they just wished they had them when a conflict occurs!
Conflict develops for a variety of reasons – sudden unexpected high stress situations or on-going, unresolved conflict between people can make a situation seem unmanageable and overwhelming, and therefore almost impossible to deal with.
In a work setting that’s when, as employers or leaders, we should step in to ensure that the people around us are given the right skills, or ‘tools’ to deal with conflict situations. Whether your company is dealing with conflict externally with the public or internally with staff members there’s a lot that can be done to help people deal with and resolve the conflict they’re experiencing.
Several years ago, as a training consultant, I worked with a large organization that was dealing with a major incident. Staff members felt threatened and this created two major issues:
- Dealing with the anger and confusion the public felt about the situation.
- Dealing with the anger, stress and grief amongst staff.
The situation that sparked the need for the training came out of a face-to-face meeting between a staff member and a member of the public that got out of hand. As a result of this and the resulting feedback from staff the organisation made major changes to their processes and how they held and ran such meetings.
The organisation did however overlook the telephone side of the business and the grief that the staff were having to face when dealing with angry, confused or upset customers. It was pointed out to the management that dealing with conflict via the telephone was just as hard as dealing with it in a face-to-face meeting and the staff needed to be given the tools to know how to respond.
We designed and ran conflict training nation-wide for this organisation and gave the staff the skills they needed to be able to manage conflict situations, not only in the workplace but also in their private lives and any area outside of the work place. As a result the staff felt cared for, supported and morale significantly improved as they put their new skills to use.
The training was designed so it could be used in both face-to-face meetings or over the telephone and covered areas such as:
- Voice Tone and Control
- Body Language
- Negotiation Skills and more.
This employee support is invaluable to an organisation: it reduces sick leave, absenteeism, staff turnover, as well as building your reputation as a responsible employer. As well as that it ensures that a team member feels in control of a potential conflict situation, allowing them to deal with it and resolve it before a major issue occurs – skills everyone should have.
For more information on this course and others contact: 0800 DEVELOP or visit: