Many of us know by now that dealing with staff and clients is a tricky balance... often ending in conflict. Women, as I have said previously, can sometimes let their emotions rule rather than their heads. In business this is an area we need to grow in if we are to succeed.
We need to learn to enter into difficult discussions, confront tricky situations and people, alleviate tensions between others, mediate, arbitrate and even create conflict to get problems or situations out in the open.
Most people avoid conflict like the proverbial plague (Iíd even venture to say that given the option of conflict or plague some women might even debate with themselves for a minute!). Why? Because conflict is hard.
You donít know whatís going to happen. People might: cry, get angry, stomp out, accuse you, get defensive or blame others. Most importantly, what will happen is that you will have a whole lot of uncomfortable feelings rolling around inside you, and most of us donít like uncomfortable feelings.
We want everything to be Ďniceí and pleasant, for people to get on with us and each other, for everything to run smoothly. So what do we do? We donít do anything and hope it all goes away all by itself.
When conflict isnít dealt with it festers, it creates bad feelings, it escalates, it gets blown out of proportion, it creates gossip and rumour, and finally, when conflict isnít dealt with it takes on a life of its own and soon itís controlling you instead of you controlling it.
Managing conflict is about having those uncomfortable feelings and doing it anyway. Itís a bit like going to have your legs waxed. You hate the idea of it, you wait forever to make the appointment and you are so relieved when itís over and most of the time, itís not so bad after all.
So now you have decided to deal with the problem, and you know there is going to be some form of conflict. Following are three attitudes I have learned over the years which have turned most conflicts into learning and growing curves for both myself and my staff.
Go into the conflict situation with an attitude of...
1. ...this conflict I am in is natural, and can even be a source of improved relations and have a great solution. I am positive and full of expectation for good things to come out of this.
2. ...the other person is a human being with hopes and dreams too. I am going to respect this person and look for the best result for everyone concerned.
3. ...I am going to attack the problem and not the person.
The purpose of conflict is to arrive at a resolution. The only way you can achieve resolution is if you get everything out in the open and deal with it. Leaving it alone will get you nowhere.
So even though conflict is inevitable, the strengths and determination we have will allow us to grow and succeed as amazing business women in this beautiful country we now call home.