Not managing conflict is an organisational own goal

It was shocking to see the disgraceful assault of Aston Villa footballer, Jack Grealish on Saturday’s news. What impressed me was how calmly Jack dealt with the situation and went on to triumph by scoring the winning goal in a beautifully symbolic settling of the score.

Sad to say, football often brings out the worst in people and violent behaviour including verbal bullying is something common in many competitive sports among players and supporters alike. Knowing the best way to handle bullies and managing conflict before it boils over into something serious is an important consideration on and off the pitch.

Bullying and conflict at work

Tactful handling of conflict in the workplace is the mark of a good boss or manager and investing in teaching people how to resolve friction is vital for good business and one route to a happier and more productive workplace.

There are four main areas of conflict:

1 Personality clashes

We’ve all had to deal with a person we find it difficult to gel with. Recognising and managing a personality clash in the office before it escalates is essential for retention of staff.

Some roles anticipate dealing with verbal aggression such as within call centres or are prepared for actual physical assault in direct customer facing roles including those dealing with a vulnerable client base or socially difficult groups such as in Housing; Social Security; Front-line emergency services including Police, Fire and NHS staff.

2 Conflict through differences in style

As the saying goes: “Different strokes for different folks”; so what’s your style? Are you task orientated or people orientated; domineering or subservient? Style differences often lead to personality conflicts at work. Do you collaborate or compromise, avoid or accommodate? Knowing what approach to use (and when) can diffuse an escalating situation. Understanding how to navigate style differences can be achieved through training and coaching.

3 Interdependence conflicts

If your role relies on the support of others to expedite your work effectively such as waiting for delivery of a vital production item or important data to do your job, ill feeling and blame can arise when someone ‘down the pike’ lets you down.

4 Culture, gender and viewpoint conflicts

Brexiteer or Remainer; Newcastle supporter or Sunderland supporter; atheist or believer; differences in ethnicity, gender, age and political preferences are often precursors to conflict.

Courses in Conflict Resolution

Carol Barwick Personal Development Ltd provides a range of bespoke training courses including:

Understanding & Managing Conflict, Threat and Violence

This practical masterclass delivers essential techniques and tips in how to remain calm, safe and in control when working with challenging groups and individuals.

Training focuses on ‘Step Away Tactics’ and provides the basis for sound application of the participant’s natural strengths and the foundation for further skills development. It takes account of current UK law and applying the existing policy framework at the time of delivery.

Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour

A high energy, practical masterclass packed full of techniques, tools and tips in how to remain calm, confident and controlled in all situations.

This masterclass is a fast paced mixture of facilitator-led discussion and debate, group exercises and personal reflections on participants’ historic and future approaches to a range of real-life work situations.

Managing Difficult Conversations

A dynamic and practical masterclass full of techniques, tools and tips in how to remain calm, confident and in control of the conversation.

Get to grips with a range of essential tools and techniques to help manage difficult situations especially with vulnerable customers displaying a wide range of emotions from depression to anger. Help staff listen, respond and handle reactive and unpredictable situations positively, reducing stress and anxiety, to maintain team resilience and wellbeing.

All courses are designed help you understand what your natural default response is to conflict and aggression and deliver training to change negative response mechanisms toward positive outcomes. If your natural default makes you feel emotionally drained or mentally brow-beaten after a phone call or meeting, it’s because you’re not handling it properly. You are at a disadvantage if you skirt around conflict or try and move away from a difficult issue.

Bespoke tools and tactics

Each course is designed to suit different business environments accessing a range of tailored case studies carefully selected for your organisation.

Face up to conflict, control it and
solve it

Gaining trust in a confidential setting is vital to engage clarity and ownership in the process of resolution. My methods have proven highly successful, even in cases where other methods have failed.

As an expert in behaviour these courses provide powerful tools and techniques to support those affected so they can reframe the situation as quickly as possible, and move towards permanent conflict resolution, navigating all types of conflict situation helping you confidently deal with difficult people.

Practical, fair solutions for you
and your staff

Using the tools and techniques provided you can learn to manage aggression and violence effectively. If you have a hands-off policy, if someone is weaponised you still have a human right to protect yourself, so our bespoke courses are perfect for front-line staff providing tools and tactics as well as sharing fascinating insights into behaviour and psychology.

Contact me now for full details.

Here’s just a small sample of the excellent course feedback received:

“Dear Carol, I just wanted to write to say thank you for providing one of the most interesting and inclusive training courses that my team of admin and finance workers and our social workers have experienced.

You delivered training around resolving / managing difficult situations either on the telephone or in person and a number of my staff have reported back that they were engaged after only a few minutes of the course starting and they were captured by the delivery and personal touch that the training provided”.

“…Engaging, inclusive, appropriate to the subject and offered specific, practical solutions that staff could take away and use – both professionally and personally”.

“Training for frontline staff working with vulnerable, disengaged and unemployed young people and adults, equipping staff to feel more confident about managing challenging behaviour from their customers, and also how to manage more direct conflict and threat should the situation escalate. Carol provided bespoke solutions tailored to situations staff would recognise. Her positivity and dynamic style of delivery ensured that some difficult issues and situations were addressed sensitively yet directly; she did not shy away from the ‘difficult questions’ which needed to be tackled”.

“The staff talked about being able to put the learning into practice in their work and personal lives, and are still talking about it some weeks afterwards”.