Conflict Management: The ability to handle conflicting interests diplomatically and to help solve them.
distinguishes interests and motivations in other parties
is able to assess the gravity of a conflict and the emotions that play a role in it
is able to assess the potential reach of a conflict
is sensitive to tensions in a team and able to address them
finds out what the reasons and backgrounds for a conflict are
looks for tangible solutions that are satisfactory for all parties involved
proposes several solutions that can be accepted by conflicting parties
distinguishes complex interests and unvoiced opinions
anticipates potential conflicts of interests and other complications
thinks of various strategies on forehand with which to diminish tensions
reconciles opposing opinions by looking for common denominators
is able to assess the hierarchy within a group or team
asks directed questions in order to analyze the depth and reach of the oppositions or the conflict
persuades conflicting parties of the mutual advantages of finding a solution to their conflict
encourages conflicting parties to come up with their own solutions
demonstrates the advantages of mutual cooperation
seeks information with all conflicting parties about the reasons for the conflict
Conflict Management can be easily developed if the candidate has a more than average score (7,8,9) on the drives Sociability & contact and Social empathy and a less than average score (1,2,3) on the drive Confrontation.
If something unpleasant happens to you, how do you respond? How do the people around you respond? Could you give a recent example?
How do you respond when somebody offends you or your family?
How did you deal with people who actively worked against you in the past? Could you give an example? What exactly did you do to correct this wrong?
What style of behavior do you like best? What styles do you find difficult and what are the limits to what you can handle?
When someone puts you at a disadvantage by acting against your values or principles, how do you respond? Could you give a recent example?
When you are in conflict with someone, try not only to listen to their arguments but observe the body language as well. What does it say?
Express your impression of the other person’s feelings; ask if your impression is correct.
Evaluate for yourself in what situations you find it difficult to solve a conflict. Can you see a pattern? What could you do to avoid these situations?
Try and observe signals of resistance in others: not looking at you, looking bored, being obsessed with their own story, repeating themselves, interrupting you, saying ‘yes but’ all the time, turning away physically.
Simulate a situation in a role play in which you annoy your candidate and engage him in a conflict by being direct and personal (‘you are...; this is impossible; you can’t do this; this doesn’t work’). Encourage the candidate to deal with the situation.
Ask your candidate to describe a situation in which he encountered resistance. What did this do to him? What was the other person’s reaction? What went well and what could be better? Try to think of alternative assertive responses together.
Encourage your candidate to take notice not only of what another person says but also of what he signals with body language, facial expressions and attitude. How do the words and signals diverge in a conflict situation?
Ask your candidate about the people with whom he communicates regularly: do they require different approaches in a conflict situation? Does he always take that approach? What would happen if he did not?
Encourage the candidate to practise his listening skills outside work as well. Involve family and friends to provide feedback.
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