When we talk about conflict there are few things that will affect the bottom line more. If an organisation has leaders that are well skilled in conflict management, a lot of money, time and resources can be saved.
I once heard of a study that concluded that in a group were conflicts are present and not managed well, up to 95% of the groups energy can be used up on the relationships of the group. Leaving a meager 5% to be used for the production.
The most important conflict skill
When it comes to conflicts the most essential skill to posess as a leader is the ability to listen well. Often that means to be able to be fully present with the person or persons you are listening to. To be fully attentive and willing to work on understanding the perspectives, values and interest of the other party.
Often we miss out on this as we feel stressed and we listen only half-heartedly with our answering running in our head or our thoughts off somewhere else. So many conflicts come down to misunderstandings and assumptions that arise from not listening to each other.
Another essential conflict management skill
The ability to master your own emotions is another important competence to posess. Someone said that there are no stupid people, only stupid states. If we are not able to manage our states, i.e our emotions, we tend to end up in stupid states where we do some stupid things that make the conflict harder to resolve.
Let people tie their own shoe laces
When two of your group members are having a conflict it is essential that you as a leader do not become a part of the actual conflict. It can be easy to fall into the trap when one of the persons involved in the conflicting situation comes to you and ask you to solve the conflict. It is easy to end with all the responsibility for the conflict in your lap.
Instead make sure to supply the opportunity and support for the parties involved to resolve the situation themselves. It can be a bit frustrating to allow the time for this. Just like it takes time when your child is to learn to tie his or her own shoe laces. But if you can hold yourself back it is well worth the effort for out of the conflict will rise empowered parties.