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Conflict's Consequences

Posted On - 16/03/2015 09:36:24

Technical competence is a given – for many of you it's a passion - the reason you're in IT at allTechnical competence is a givenfor many of you it's a passion - the reason you're in IT at all.

But turning a hobby into a business changes everything.

Yes, you must – you have to - be outstanding at what you do. The problem is technical competence doesn't create and keep customers. Nor does it create and keep keen, committed employees.

Overwhelmingly, your business success rests on people skills. And as we covered in ‘Conflict of Interests?' how you create and respond to conflict defines yours. To learn more about conflict and what it means for you, read on.

Severe disagreement

The word ‘conflict' often conjures images of arguments, fights, battles even warsYou wouldn't be alone if the word ‘conflict' conjured images of arguments even fights. To say these are symptoms would be an understatement.

But they're by no means the whole story. The real conflicts being played out started much earlier.

Instead of imagining conflict as having to be an obvious dispute, think of it more as anytime someone's feelings are jarred.

Suddenly ‘conflict' with a customer or member of staff isn't limited to mild hostilities, it happens the moment either of you feels bruised by the other.

Learning to drive

How you handle conflict creates an impression of what you're likeYou can't be a mind reader but need to be aware of how others feel!?! Well, if you think that's a tall order, consider this: when thinking about conflict you need to take into account the fact you're in charge.

Whether owner or staff member customers are anxious over how you treat them. Maybe it's your expertise or because they're coming to you with a problem - whatever - they will tend to feel disadvantaged, even if it's just a little.

Similarly your staff will naturally want to follow your behaviour as the example of what's right. The longest served, even the rebellious, will defer to your authority. Let's face it you are their boss and their employer.

How you handle conflict is about more than getting on with people and making sure interactions go well, it's about the impression it creates of what you're like. You are in a privileged position. And people don't trust those they feel abuse their power.

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