Tips to Develop Your Conflict Resolution Skills
The charity sector is renowned for the passion and dedication of its workers, which is unquestionably a positive. But this intensity of commitment can sometimes lead to differences in opinion on the best route to achieve common goals. In such cases, conflict resolution skills are invaluable, turning potential obstacles into stepping stones towards a stronger team. Here’s how you can develop this important technique, and how it can benefit your career.
What is conflict resolution?
Conflict resolution is the process of identifying, addressing, and effectively managing disagreements or disputes. In a work environment, conflict resolution is a crucial skill as workplace stresses can increase the likelihood of misunderstandings and escalation.
Conflict itself isn’t inherently negative. At its core, conflict resolution seeks to transform disagreements into opportunities for learning, progress and mutual understanding. It involves identifying the cause of the conflict, actively listening to differing perspectives, and then working together to find a solution. Effective conflict resolution skills foster an environment of respect, collaboration and openness.
Conflict resolution is particularly relevant to the charity sector, where teams often work with emotive topics with limited resources. The ability to navigate and resolve disputes effectively and empathetically can make a significant difference to the day-to-day running of the organisation.
It’s not just about extinguishing fires as and when they arise. By embracing these principles at all times, we can create a more harmonious, productive and impactful charity sector.
Why is it important for career progression?
Conflict resolution skills are invaluable if you’re aspiring to make significant strides in your career. They’re particularly crucial at a charity, where collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of successfully achieving organisational objectives.
Firstly, having these skills shows a level of emotional intelligence. It shows you can manage your emotions and understand others’ perspectives, fostering a more harmonious workspace, critical in the charity sector where the emphasis is on empathy and understanding.
Secondly, proficient conflict resolution skills can set you apart as a leader. Leaders are often required to mediate disputes and find common ground in challenging situations. By effectively resolving conflicts, you can reduce workplace stress and enhance productivity, contributing positively to the team’s morale and the organisation’s overall success.
Moreover, in the charity sector, internal conflicts can threaten the delivery of essential services to those who need them most. By swiftly and effectively managing these disagreements, you can ensure your organisation remains focused on its primary objectives, thereby safeguarding its reputation and influence.
Finally, conflict resolution skills can also boost your problem-solving abilities. Conflict often arises from differing viewpoints or ideas. By managing these differences constructively, you can encourage innovative thinking and find unexpected solutions to problems, driving your career forward.
Practical steps you can take in a situation to resolve a conflict
When a conflict arises in a workplace, it’s helpful to address it in a constructive and timely manner. Here are some practical steps you can take to resolve conflicts effectively:
- Acknowledge the conflict: The first step in conflict resolution is acknowledging the existence of a dispute. Avoiding it prolongs and escalates the tension.
- Understand the perspectives: Listening to the parties involved to understand their perspectives and why their perspective is important to them.
- Withhold judgement: This involves ensuring that each party feels heard and respected, with their opinions and feelings acknowledged.
- Find common ground: Try to identify the common interests or goals of the conflicting parties. This can form the basis for a resolution that satisfies everyone involved.
- Develop a plan: Once the problem is understood and a common ground is found, devise an action plan. This should outline the steps required to resolve the conflict and prevent recurring conflict around the same issue.
- Implement and monitor the plan: Put the plan into action and monitor its effectiveness. If necessary, make adjustments to ensure the conflict is fully resolved.
Remember, conflict isn’t inherently harmful. When handled correctly, it can lead to growth, innovation and enhanced relationships within the team. By following these steps you’ll develop strong conflict resolution skills, boost your professional growth and contribute positively to your organisation’s culture.
How to show a recruiter you’re good at resolving conflicts
When applying for a job in the charity sector, it’s helpful to showcase your conflict resolution skills during the recruitment process. Charities often require staff to resolve disputes within the organisation and with service users, making this skill highly desirable.
Start by giving practical examples of your conflict resolution skills in your CV and cover letters. Describe specific situations where you have successfully mediated disputes, resolved disagreements, or facilitated compromise. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your examples for clarity and maximum impact.
During the interview process, proactively demonstrate your conflict resolution skills. Speak calmly and assertively, showing your ability to maintain composure under pressure. Role-play scenarios can be an excellent way to highlight your skills in a practical manner. Be ready to discuss the strategies and techniques you use to resolve conflicts; understanding of active listening, empathy and negotiation can be mentioned here.
Use references to your advantage. Former supervisors who’ve seen your conflict resolution skills firsthand can provide compelling testimonials. Ensure they’re prepared to discuss specific instances where you’ve effectively handled conflicts.
Lastly, showcase your commitment to continuous learning and development. Mention any conflict resolution training or workshops you’ve attended to demonstrate your proactive efforts in honing your skills.
Remember, conflict is inevitable in any work environment, but how you handle it makes all the difference. Showing recruiters that you can effectively manage conflicts will set you apart and significantly increase your chances of securing a role in the charity sector.
Ready to put your skills to work? Find a job today.
About PMAC: We are a UK based organisation of mental health & wellbeing trainers providing workplace training to non-profits and businesses in the UK, helping to create a healthier and more productive working environment. Aimee is passionate about all things mental health related and holds a First Class degree in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire. Aimee’s goal is to empower people to build a future that does not feel defined by their experiences, by using their knowledge and experience to take control of their healing and improve their lives.