Effective Conflict Resolution Leads to Happier Employees

Data gathered in a recent Wiley survey stated that unresolved conflict costs companies in terms of both productivity and revenue. Some of the statistical data:

  • Leaders spend an average of 13 hours a month dealing with conflict.
  • 70% of polled leaders state that conflict negatively impacts efficiency.
  • Unhealthy conflict is responsible for an average of 40% of retention issues.

These are staggering numbers for organizational leaders trying to increase efficiency, maximize revenue, and retain their most talented associates. In his book Working Relationships: Managing Successful Relationships in Business and Life, John Chisolm states that 90% of workplace professionals say their organizations never provided them with a healthy model for dealing with conflict. Leaders who encourage conflict while leveraging their listening skills, assertive communication, and emotional intelligence gain more alignment and buy-in from their teams. This kind of problem-solving drives increased efficiency. Conflict not only leads to better results but also happier teams! So how do we go about developing a conflict resolution process?

Study Yourself to Build Your Conflict Resolution Skills

First, start with you. If you haven’t studied yourself in conflict, you will get it wrong from the start. Performance feedback tools like behavioral profiles or 360-degree feedback can help us develop a deeper sense of self-awareness while getting a handle on strong emotions during a difficult situation — leading to good conflict resolution skills.

Once we better understand our “unhealthy” trigger-based behavioral characteristics, we can work to manage our responses in conflict. This means managing words, tone, emotion, and body language. This is difficult to do without devoting time to self-development — whether it’s discussing our unhealthy habits with co-workers and loved ones or simply reading about self-management. Bottom line, personal game film will develop healthy conflict behaviors such as active listening, emotional awareness, and empathy. The stakes are high for unregulated conflict responses, especially for leaders.

Encourage Conflict to Resolve Conflict

Next, we must invite conflict to achieve the best results and, in the end, a healthier organization. Even though it may seem easier to avoid conflict, leaders must steer themselves and involved parties in healthy conflict to increase efficiency in decision making.

This is hard work that requires skill. The undisciplined leader will hear what they want to hear and (unhealthily) respond without managing their emotions. But the disciplined leader engages their communication skills and commits to learning tools and methods to foster this healthy behavior.

Your organization and its people deserve leaders who work to get in front of negative and unhealthy responses to conflict. By encouraging active listening and a healthy exchange of perspectives, leaders drive dialogue and gain feedback from talented problem-solvers at all levels.

Gain More Conflict Resolution Techniques

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In fact, when conflict is managed constructively, it can lead to better outcomes for everyone involved. If you want to be a better leader and foster a more productive workplace culture, you need to learn more about how to effectively manage conflict.

The resources we’ve shared should give you a good starting point, but there are plenty of other conflict management skills to develop if you want to go deeper.

With our Next Leader Now program, you can discover how you deal with conflict and develop your habits and skills accordingly. You’ll rely on feedback from outside sources to guide you. By developing an effective conflict management style, you can approach workplace conflict head-on and work toward resolutions that benefit everyone involved.

Invest in yourself and your team today.