Conflict Management Training: Develop your skills in conflict management training

Conflict management training is increasingly becoming an important component of many executive leadership programs. Indeed, the ability of future leaders to manage internal and external conflicts is a key skill which requires specific conflict management training. Effective conflict management training delivers skills applicable to many situations, ranging from people management to organizational issues and communication in the business environment.

Dealing with internal conflicts in the workplace
Conflict management training can help in addressing conflicts internal to an organization, either between individuals or departments. Good conflict management training enables staff members to positively engage either with colleagues or groups, to handle controversial conversations, to deliver difficult news, to express constructive criticism and to answer negative comments.

Conflict management training can also be very helpful in managing wider organizational changes, such as a corporate restructuring or the introduction of new operational procedures. The ability to effectively deal with conflicts arising from such changes will determine the success or failure of the initiative. For example, corporate history is littered with examples of large companies that have merged and then been unable to resolve conflicts arising from two different corporate cultures

From a stakeholder engagement perspective, conflict management training enhances the organization's ability and effectiveness to deal with potential external pressures. Being able to deal calmly and collectively with a client or supplier and averting a potential conflict is not only good for existing business but also for the reputation of the company.

Conflict management training programs
Many business management schools offer leadership programs that include conflict management training. Before choosing a particular program you should consider the following:

  • Focus: Are you looking for a conflict management training which will mostly be dealing with internal organizational issues or for something more outward-looking, such as stakeholder engagement? This distinction will be important to define and tailor the content of the conflict management program to the needs of the organization or the individual(s).
  • Scope: If part of a leadership development program, the conflict management training will be cross-functional and address the needs of managers from various departments. A more focused and gradual approach could however be to undertake a conflict management training for functions which have primary responsibilities for dealing with conflicts, such as human resources and external relations. However, it is important not to limit conflict management training to certain specialized staff only!
  • Execution: An interesting option for an effective implementation of conflict management training is to tailor it into a "train the trainer" program. This will allow a complete roll-out of the conflict management training inside the organization beyond.

In short, conflict management training will enhance an organization's ability to effectively deal with the various employee, project and external stakeholder management issues it may face. Many options are available - each organization needs to assess these carefully in order to choose the one that meets their specific needs for conflict management training.

 

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