CEO of The NSLS . Coauthor of “Hacking the SAT: Tips and Tricks to Help You Prepare, Plan Ahead, and Increase Your Score.”
The new paradigm of working from home has created new types of workplace conflicts. Unfortunately, many business leaders in charge of addressing these conflicts lack the confidence and skills necessary for successful de-escalation . With the right professional development training, leaders can help everyone on the team navigate issues in this new normal.
The Role Of Leadership Training In Conflict De-Escalation
Conflict de-escalation has always been an important skill for leaders, but many people are uncomfortable facing issues head-on. Leadership training programs can help instill the confidence and skills they need to manage problems before they get out of hand. It can even help employees resolve conflicts on their own.
Leadership training and development programs provide a crash course on exactly what skills are needed to effectively manage people and organizations, as well as opportunities to practice those skills. Most programs focus on four key areas: confidence, intention, strategy and communication. Participants also learn how setting intentions in the midst of conflict is important to develop empathy for everyone involved. Strong strategic and communication skills make a solution-oriented mindset possible and help leaders effectively listen through the conflict.
The 3 Skills Necessary To De-Escalate Conflict
There are many types of workplace conflict , but there’s an adaptable procedure that helps in any situation. The following skills are essential for leaders to de-escalate conflict successfully.
1. Emotional Self-Regulation
Those in charge of resolving conflict must be calm at all times to ensure they see the situation clearly. So, being able to keep their own emotions in check is vital for leaders. With emotional self-regulation training, leaders will learn the importance of pausing internally before they respond to a conflict. A cool-headed leader is more effective at de-escalation and resolution than leaders who let their emotions or knee-jerk reactions get in the way.
There’s always more than one side to every story, and a conflict can only be truly resolved when all parties feel like they’ve been heard. Thus, learning to practice empathy in the workplace is a key aspect of conflict de-escalation and resolution training. Leaders must be open to hearing multiple points of view and trying to empathize with them. When people see that you truly care, they’ll trust you to help solve the problem and become more open to compromise. Once grievances have been aired, empathy also clarifies one unifying truth: Everyone involved in the conflict just wants to feel better.
3. A Solution-Oriented Mindset
When it comes to conflict de-escalation, it’s much more effective to shift focus to the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems. Solution-oriented leaders encourage those in conflict to have a dialogue about remedies and compromises to resolve the issue. Then, they help develop a plan and timeline for fixing the issue.
Given the wide array of skills that leadership training teaches, these programs have broader applications than just teaching people the hard skills required to be an effective leader. Developing leaders’ conflict de-escalation and resolution skills is a great way to ensure the work environment is supportive for everyone.