4 Keys to Communication and Conflict Resolution

what-we-doCommunication skills. Leadership abilities. Emotional and social intelligence. Today, communication skill and conflict resolution savvy are crucial to achieving collaboration and reaching demanding organizational goals. Here are four strategies you can use to make this happen.

  1. A Communication Model that Thrives on Dissent

big-picture-thrivePeople often get their creative juices bubbling by rubbing one mind against another, to produce new and improved concepts and procedures.  When people eliminate barriers to communication and manage their differences well, the organization flourishes – not despite differences but because of them. In fact, conflict and negative reactions generally emerge from how we express and handle our personal diversity, not the variations themselves.

Only through sharing differing opinions, beliefs, experiences and goals can any group of people exceed their individual boundaries. Organizations – boards, teams, whole companies  – who create ways to make the most of their diversity share a variety of essential characteristics*, such as

  • having shared goals firmly in place;
  • basing discussion on facts rather than opinion;
  • developing a wide range of options instead of just a few alternatives, and
  • ensuring that everyone feels comfortable speaking up.

Not least among the common elements is humour; teams that can lighten up and let off steam among the whole group are also able to disagree, respectfully.

  1. Create Positive Outcomes through Conflict Resolution

big-picture-positive-outcomesEach of us has the power to choose our response to people and circumstances. In fact, humans are the only beings on the planet able to separate stimulus from response, and choose a reaction.  We have the power to choose how we will engage, speak, listen, hear, interpret and respond. Our choices shape the outcome of our interactions and create an effect, either positive or negative. This is the foundation of conflict management and resolution.

At the most basic level, just the discovery of a different point of view can enable us to see something that had not occurred to us individually. Through sharing ideas openly, focused on what a person says – not his or her personality – we generate fewer problems and greater benefits than any one of our preferences might have produced on its own.

  1. Master Communication Techniques to Reap Benefits
    big-picture-reap-benefitsUnderstanding our own and others’ communication and conflict styles can help us master “creative abrasion” and become more useful to the organization. An increased capacity to manage differences productively, means greater creativity and innovation from everyone’s enhanced abilities. It is not an inborn talent; the kind of communication that eliminates barriers rests on specific skills. Like any skill, proficiency derives from training and practise. That’s where we come in: CJS Communications provides communication and conflict resolution coaching and training , focused on minimizing or eliminating barriers to effective communication.
  2. Watch The Way You Say What You Say

big-picture-what-you-sayHow you say something is just as important as what you say. The best way to improve results is through communication training and coaching everyone to be able to talk about the difficult things that really drive progress – setting clear expectations for performance and achievement; challenging people when their results fall short; praising and raising the bar for strong performers, and generating dialogue that gives everyone an opportunity to comment, question and contribute in their own way.

Communication is the way we get things done at work. Our results reflect how well – or poorly – we do this, making communication skills a core competency for both individual advancement and organizational success.

*  How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight”; Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Jean L. Kahwajy, L.J. Bourgeois III; Harvard Business Review, July-Aug 1997.

Copyright(c) 2015 Carol J. Sutton Cert.ConRes.