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When you have a workplace with diverse people who have different work goals and personal styles, conflicts may arise. As the leader, it will be up to you to help resolve conflict when it cannot be managed between the two involved parties on their own.

Conflict can occur when someone challenges your authority or when two people in your team butt heads. However, conflict doesn’t necessarily involve another individual or party; it can be a situation or a circumstance that puts people under pressure or in an uncomfortable position.

But despite the many different types of conflict that can occur in the workplace, there are two main approaches to managing them. Which stance do you adopt when handling conflict? Are you a fighter who turns up the heat or do you try to diffuse the situation in the most peaceful and fair way possible?

The Warrior

Do you fight fire with fire? The warrior doesn’t fear conflict and confronts it head-on. They find no reason to run from it as facing conflict is part of a leader’s responsibilities. Their strategy involves purpose, skill, knowledge, and power.

Their courage to meet conflict in the face is fueled by their persistence and spirit to come out on top. With knowledge and skill, the warrior can make informed decisions on how to approach their opponent and gain the upper hand. The warrior knows that there is power in numbers and will rally the team to stand behind the right choice.

Warriors don’t seek conflict nor do they set out to destroy anything. Rather than burn bridges, they protect them. They’re highly spirited and are the first to champion causes they believe in.

The Peacemaker

Do you approach conflict with the understanding that resolutions take time and patience? The peacemaker takes a more political approach as they hear out all sides. By understanding all involved parties’ mindsets and feelings, the peacemakers feel that they can make better decisions that will diffuse the situation and prevent future conflicts from arising.

Putting their own emotions aside, they act as referees as they encourage the dialogue that will lead to the solution. They leave it to the concerned parties to sort out their differences as they serve as the mediator. They believe that every battle can be negotiated and resolved through compromise.

Surprisingly, many leaders don’t realize what type they are until someone points it out. This is why self-awareness is crucial to great leadership. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Many would argue that the warrior’s brash approach may only encourage more conflict while the peacemaker may lack the intensity that is needed in leadership.

If you need help identifying your leadership style or want to know how to manage conflict better, we develop and train leaders and employees in the specific skills required in collaboration: appreciating others, purposeful conversations, creatively resolving conflicts, and managing programs. Let’s connect:

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734