Improving competence is a key developmental goal of most training. In this video, discover three key elements of conflict competence.
- Conflict is a part of our everyday life. At home and at work, we regularly have differences with others that can lead to conflict. How can we deal with these situations in more confident and effective ways? In this video, we'll define what it takes to improve your conflict competence, so that you can get better results from conflict. The first step, understanding conflict is largely a cognitive or thinking function. It includes recognizing the value of dealing with conflict effectively, uncovering conflict attitudes, learning conflict dynamics, and understanding your own responses to conflict. Without appreciating the value of managing conflict effectively, you're less likely to spend time improving your skills. Learning the dynamics of how conflicts unfold helps you develop a roadmap of conflict, so that you can see how you can intervene at different points. Finally, understanding how you currently respond to conflict allows you to recognize your strengths that you can leverage in the future as well as areas you need to improve. The second step, managing your emotions is all about being able to cool down when you become upset in conflict settings. Learning more about what triggers emotions can help you prevent from getting caught off guard. Developing techniques to allow yourself to regulate those strong emotions can help you regain composure when they arise. Creating strategies to buy extra time provides you with breathing room to reflect on how best to reengage with the other person during conflict. The third step towards conflict competence involves engaging others constructively. You do this by learning constructive behaviors to use when communicating with another person in conflict. These behaviors will help you understand the other person's point of view, enable you to share your perspective, and set you up to be able to craft collaborative solutions that can work for both of you. One of the most powerful constructive behaviors is listening for understanding. Making the effort to understand the other person's perspective on the conflict can help you learn more about the situation. In addition to using constructive behaviors, it's also important to avoid using destructive ones. It's easy in the heart of conflict to react with angry outbursts or passive-aggressive types of behaviors. It may even feel good in the moment, but it almost always escalates or prolongs the conflict. Finding ways of substituting constructive responses in place of those destructive behaviors helps move conflict towards more successful outcomes. As you improve your personal conflict competence, you'll be able to help others resolve their disputes. You can model effective behaviors for employees and colleagues, you can coach them to respond more effectively, and facilitate discussions between people who are having a difficult time resolving a problem on their own. You can also help create a climate on your team or in your organization that fosters more constructive resolution of the inevitable conflicts that will occur.