5 Conflict Resolution Skills For Successful Leaders

Conflicts are real. Especially in leadership.

Your abrasiveness, assertiveness, or vision will rub someone the wrong way. And the same goes for those you lead. They’re going to rub you the wrong way.

Conflicts aren’t bad. They’re needed. 

I think of the Bible verse Proverbs 27:17. It states 

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

This means conflict can sharpen us. The more you deal with conflict, the better you’ll be. Before you know it, you may have gained skills you didn’t know you needed. 

The struggle is that not everyone knows how to handle conflict in leadership. Their conflict resolution skills are lacking. 

5 Conflict Resolution Skills For Successful Leaders

Let’s take a peek at five different ways you can resolve conflicts as a leader. These tactics will serve you well when dealing with interpersonal, vendor, and business conflicts. 

1. Identify the root cause: 

Conflicts happen for a reason. There’s an underlying root cause.

When we can talk things through, we can figure out the root cause of the conflict. When we identify the root cause, we can begin attacking the real issue, not the perceived one.

Too many times, we get caught up in what you or the other person thinks is the real issue. We figure it out, and then the conflict arises again.

This is because we didn’t get to the real root cause of the conflict. Dig deep. Don’t stop at the first answer. Keep asking questions, keep digging.

Find the root cause and pull out the conflict by its roots.

2. Think win-win:

In situations of conflict, we can go into fight mode. Fight mode tells us there’s only one way out: we must win. Reality tells us a different story.

Many times, we can figure out a win-win solution.

A win-win solution is a solution that finds benefits for both parties in a conflict. The two parties come together, seek out an amicable solution, and they both walk away with a victory.

Seek out ways to make it so both parties can win in a conflict.  

3. Address conflicts immediately:

One of the reasons conflicts get out of control is that we sweep the issues of the conflict under the rug. We don’t want to deal with the problem, or we think it’ll go away on its own.

The wrong way to think!

We have to be willing to address conflicts as they arise. Don’t let the issues you or your people are facing grow.

Stand up, put your big boy or girl pants on, and address the conflict in the room.

4. Manage your emotions:

Another reason conflicts get out of control is that we let the wrong emotions into the situation. We immediately blow our tops, get red-faced, or begin to blame.

Conflicts are personal. They evoke emotions. 

But we have to manage our emotions.

Learn to take deep breaths, to pause, to control your mind when a conflict arises. Don’t immediately jump in with a reaction. 

Focus yourself so you can manage your emotions.

5. Reflect and learn:

There’s a lesson in every conflict. There’s something we can look back upon and grow from.

Don’t let a conflict go to waste. 

After a conflict, reflect back on how you reacted, the other party reacted, and others around you reacted. Dig into the why behind those reactions. 

You’ll discover there’s plenty to learn from a successfully resolved conflict.

You Can Resolve Conflicts!

You’re never going to be free of conflicts. They’re going to present themselves to you on a daily basis. You can’t run from them.

You can face the conflicts that arise in your personal and professional life. That’s what you’ve got to do.

Use the above tactics to resolve the conflicts you’re facing. They’ll help you find peace and tranquility. 

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