Who really likes conflict? Most of us would like to run from conflict, but in time we ultimately have to face it. Whether on our job or in our relationships, conflict is a guarantee. How we deal with conflict will determine the outcome.
The Business Program Chair at Globe University-Minneapolis, Tom Stoltz, led a seminar called The Art of Conflict Resolution for The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). IAAP is an organization that offers administrative professionals with professional certification, educational forums and professional development, networking opportunities and corporate partnerships.
No news is good news, as the saying goes. Yet, there are times when negative news to employees, managers, customers, vendors, or stakeholders is unavoidable in any business or organization.
When bad news occurs, communicating with the recipient is often handled incorrectly. People are tempted to pick up the phone or drop an email message and quickly blurt the message out with the intention of just getting the task out of the way. The results of doing so, however, can leave hurt feelings, an angry customer, or the end of productive affiliation. Further, telling the “bad news” right away often creates an obstacle which prevents the customer or client from learning the reasons behind the disappointing information.
Tom has 10 ways to deal with conflict that will turn a conflict into a positive:
- It isn’t so much the news that people resent – it’s the WAY it is told
- Thoroughly explain the reasons for the negative news, revealing critical information sensitively, treating disputes seriously
- Always be fair
- Always start out with the good news before breaking the bad news – accentuating the positive
- Compliment the person you are dealing with
- Express appreciation to them for being a customer, an employee or a business partner
- Agree with them and show understanding if they are angry or frustrated
- Always look toward the brighter future
- Offer alternatives
- Express good wishes
This advice doesn’t eliminate you from conflict but it equips you to know how to deal with conflict – that is good news. I personally tend to be very direct in my conflicts and I move on so Tom’s message was very insightful for me.
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