Enhancing your personal communication skills can assist you in dealing with conflict. Outlined below are three steps towards a positive approach to conflict:
Conflict can be triggered by diverse situations such as the invasion of another person's space, differences of values or opinions, unfair treatment, cultural differences, work ethics or lack of these, differing world views and much more. Differing personalities can also be conflict generating. The clear fact is that conflict exists and it is here to stay.
“When you drop a pebble into a pond, ripples spread out, changing all the water in the pool.” Neal Shusterman
In our busy lives, we can get so caught up in our own little world and lose sight of the bigger picture, of others and of the needs around us. The focus of an affluent society such as ours tends to lean towards the importance of reaching financial goals and achieving financial security. This investment mostly benefits ourselves and/or our immediate family.
Have you had a good conversation with someone where you really felt connected? Effective conversations are built on the conversations we have, not the ones we don’t have. Looking back in my life I had a few moments like these and the reasons for the success of these conversations were simple yet extremely effective. First, communicating your thoughts. Second, allowing the other person to speak without interruption and third, being open to learn from the other person.
Have you stopped a moment in the day to value and appreciate yourself? The way in which we see ourselves has a great impact on our relationships with others. Insecurities, fears, lack of acceptance of our physical appearance or personal traits can all reflect on the way we communicate with and come across to others. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in, the person you carry with you every day is yourself.
Successful management does not grow overnight. When good principles are implemented, management is strengthened. Three key areas are highlighted below.
First, observe accountability structures. Managers are responsible to ensure structures are clearly outlined and maintained. Staff should know who they are accountable to and what their job description is. Maintaining clear accountability structures is vital for the optimal functioning of the organisation. For example, a staff member might come to you saying that they prefer talking to you because you are more approachable than their supervisor. Although this might be somewhat flattering to you, there is danger in overstepping the accountability line. Referring staff members back to their line of accountability and encouraging all members to observe similar procedures, will contribute towards optimal team, departmental and/or organisational functioning.