The Participation Blog

Magic Conflict Resolution Skills: Do They Exist?

It’s understandable for people to want to find those big, hairy conflict resolution skills or ideas that will instantly fix the problem that they’re having on their public project.

The truth is that what they’re often saying is that they want to continue managing the public the way they’ve always done it before, but get a better result. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Doing things right(er) takes a new way of thinking and different approaches than the traditional methods of the past. It’s clear from all of the evidence and all of the indicators (like Edelman’s Trust Barometer) that people’s confidence and level of trust in almost any big institution – business, media, government and NGO alike – continues to erode. It’s taken years to get to this point and mediating our way out of this mess will take time. We’d be smart to start now.

Don’t get the notion that the following applies only to a business, even if that’s the perspective of the story; it’s equally applicable to the public sector. Government still doesn’t take its eroding credibility seriously; that has to change. Real conflict management leadership of any kind requires being smart enough to change behaviors, like these conflict resolution skills:

Own up to your weaknesses and make amends

Correcting your course, owning up and making amends requires self-examination and to come to terms with the truth. Once it’s clear, you need to have the courage to take responsibility for the success of your team or department.

Keep your promises

It can be difficult for a leader to keep promises. It’s not something that is done on purpose, but because of unconscious communication. To keep a promise requires self-awareness, telling the truth and having a system of accountability.

Get control of your organizational skills

It can be easy to drop the ball on things such as communication or missing a meeting when you are unorganized. A good way to conquer your organizational issues is to become technology savvy and use tools and systems, such as calendars or other time management apps, to help keep you sane and able to fulfill obligations.

Parts of this conflict resolution techniques article were borrowed from Smart Blog on Leadership. Contact us for additional conflict resolution skills training.