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How to: handling conflict at work

Conflict situations in the workplace can be incredibly disruptive. They not only leave those involved in the dispute feeling unsettled but also everyone else too. Eventually, conflict that isn’t well handled may lead to a situation where one or other of the people involved is forced to leave, whether that’s moving to another department or quitting the business altogether. However, there are ways to handle conflict at work so that it doesn’t escalate to become uncomfortable.

Start by talking

Conflicts are often escalated when communication breaks down. Rumours, misinterpretation of silence or getting the wrong idea can all contribute to making a situation worse. So, the first step in handling conflict at work is to find a convenient time when you can sit down with the other person and have a conversation.

Make sure you listen

It can be difficult not to react to someone else, especially if what they are saying feels unfair or wrong. However, it’s very important to listen to what is being said, to let the other person finish without interrupting and to make sure you understand what their issue really is. Ask questions if you’re not clear and try to stay calm even if you feel under attack.

And when it’s your turn…

It’s often much more helpful to focus on specific instances rather than talking generally about behaviour. Try to steer clear of being too personal – for example, framing an issue as “when this happens” as opposed to “when you do this” can be less inflammatory.

Find some common ground

When you have both had the opportunity to air your issues it can be useful for someone to summarise what those are. What are the main problems when it comes to disagreement and are there any areas where you both agree? If nothing else it’s important to be able to get consensus on what the main conflict points are between you. From there you can prioritise which are the most important and particularly crucial to try and resolve.

Make a plan

Identify the key conflict that is causing the biggest problems and then create a plan to tackle that issue. You might want to agree steps that both can take to help to try and resolve the problem and also to schedule a date in the future to meet again to discuss progress. It’s important to try and focus on the future and how change can be facilitated, rather than on the past.

Follow through on what you’ve achieved so far

Once you have a plan in place it’s important to show resolve and stick to it, and for both parties to be proactive and committed to the process. When you start to see positive change, compliment and congratulate each other and look for those moments when it feels good to highlight the progress that has been made.

Dealing with conflict in a professional environment can feel intimidating at first. However, all that’s really required is a practical approach as well as a willingness to evolve.

Our Managing Conflict course will benefit individuals, teams and the organisation by providing delegates with the understanding and ability to manage conflict in the workplace, alternatively our Managing Difficult Staffing Situations helps delegates understand the importance of managing poor performance and helps give delegates the confidence to manage day-to-day poor performance and behavioural problems within their team.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.