I believe managing conflict is a road less traveled. Conflict can be and must be managed, and it takes skill, diplomacy, and a level of respect for boundaries, that preserves the integrity of the relationship. It has been said, the age of issues can reveal the effectiveness of a management team. Lengths organizations go to as they attempt to get work done around varying levels of incompetency, carelessness, and negligence in performance of duty is staggering. It makes you wonder who in the world would willingly do this! When asked, some will tell you, they just saw the situation as drama and nonsense. The problem? Courts see the organization “knew or should have known” and people got hurt, claims were filed and litigation followed. Safety, productivity, values, and work product, are temporarily and sometimes permanently destroyed (i.e., Fox News 2017, the spin did not stop here).
Getting past objections, generally you will see good people without a level of awareness. Awareness that helps them turn toward conflict in an effort to understand the issue(s), identify the need(s) not currently being met, and look for creative solutions. Skilled conflict managers are respected because they build trust by setting expectations. They resolve conflict and provide consequences for continued poor performance because they see and hear conflict as a grinding of gears. Dealing with conflict quickly and with skill is not only possible, it must be developed as a critical skill for those set in leadership positions. If you are at a gun range, you do not get ready, shoot, then aim if you want to hit the target. You get ready, aim, and then you shoot at the target. For leaders, the aim is solving problems. Leaders carefully look and taking aim at high transaction costs in human relations. They know this happens where conflict is unresolved and incompetence is sanctioned.
Skilled conflict managers will create through their leadership, a culture of accountability and by and through their actions, they reduce risk and lead high performing teams. They speak and act with purpose and with vision. Their goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant, and time-bound (SMART) and so are they! -The Winning Way
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