Undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges (and the greatest downfalls for many) in the work environment is dealing with conflict…and, unfortunately, it's an area in which most lessons are learned posthumously (in other words, AFTER the damage has been done).
Yep. Been there, done that.
If you wish everyone would just "play nice", think again. While not all workplace conflict is good, some conflict is actually necessary to push the organization past it's own boundaries. How boring (and limited) would an organization be if everyone always agreed with one another?
But unless you come from a large family (like, 5+ siblings kind of big), chances are your conflict management skills could use some work. Yet, most organizations only reserve conflict management classes for managers or high-potential employees leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. The challenge with this approach is that most organizations see conflict management as a "leadership skill" instead of a people skill. "Leaders" learn to manage conflict amongst their teams rather than the team members learning to manage their ability to resolve conflict amongst and within themselves.
Given that, I thought it would be helpful to share some rules for "Management Conflict" published by BNET (although I respectfully submit they apply to everyone, not just managers):
1. Stay calm.
2. Attack the problem, not the person.
3. Be open and honest.
4. Don't lose perspective.
Click here for the rest of the list.
Continue to be great!