Conflict management is the higher order of interpersonal skills. It is so important as a leader that you are able, that you that the ability, the competency, to be able to manage conflict. You may not always resolve it, but let’s make no mistake that as a leader if we do not address conflict it is an enormous cost to morale.
It is one of the key reasons to why people start thinking about leaving a job. And it actually is one of the biggest demotivators to individuals who were already performing well and were feeling good about what they’re doing, and they notice that their leader has not addressed an issue between their colleagues. So, your ability to manage and resolve conflict if possible, as I said, to be able to resolve it, is something that your individuals who are involved in the conflict are looking to you to manage. And also the rest of your team are expecting that you are able to do that.
Developing these skills is really important because to the individuals having the issue, as I said, if they feel that you aren’t able to address it then where are they going to go? Who are they going to turn to? They’re not able to manage it on their own. So that’s why they’re looking to you to be able to help them to deal with that concern, whatever it might be.
Time and again I’ve had people coming to me, whether it’s through my coaching services, or during a workshop session. I only had it happen the other day where someone said to me, you know what? There is an issue with another manager who is a bully and I know that my senior leadership aren’t addressing that. They aren’t addressing the conflict between us. And as a result of that I’m really at a point where I don’t think I can stay. And that is a really sad thing.
So, this really capable person is considering walking away from their position after 14 years because their management, their senior leadership, aren’t able to deal with this conflict. So, I’m urging you to think about developing your skills when it comes to managing conflict to the absolute best of your ability rather than risk losing great people.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com