Before you can truly understand a subject, it’s important to gain knowledge of the various parts that make up the whole. For example, if you want to deal effectively with conflict, you should learn more about that concept. The word “conflict” is described as friction, discord, or disagreement between individuals or groups when one person or group holds to one philosophy or piece of information while the other resists or finds that stance unacceptable.
Studies have shown that conflict in business, non-profit organisations, or other settings generally follows a distinct path beginning with group interaction that is disrupted by some form of initial conflict. This may actually lead to clearly defined coalitions within a group, as one example. Conflict can escalate and must be resolved at some point with several outcomes possible.
With this in mind, the key is to take steps to deal with or manage that conflict. However, there are situations when the groups or individuals are not able to take those necessary steps and may even find that an entrenched conflict is too difficult to handle alone. At this point, it may be necessary to enlist a company or individual experienced in conflict management consulting.
This consultant is often brought in to assist with developing the capability of individuals, groups or organisations so that a positive outcome is possible. Too often, a group or organisation is dealing with a long-standing entrenched conflict that prevents progress. The outcomes within the group are usually negative and the daily operation is dysfunctional at best. Key input from a third-party consultant might involve formulating policy, helping with decision-making, improving communication between individuals or factions, and so on.
Contributions might also include supporting engagement, managing relationships, and coaching managers and group leaders so they can deal with conflict. When you work with a professional in this specialty, you also have access to someone who is skilled at facilitating difficult conversations and at dealing with cultural, religious, or gender differences.
To be successful in the consulting industry, it’s necessary to be adept at transforming conflict, enabling the differing parties to engage in productive conversation. The process doesn’t involve having an individual telling both sides what they must do. Rather, the consultant helps individuals and organisations build the confidence and capability to deal with conflict in house with a focus on collaboration, implementing positive changes, and facilitating problem solving.
Some firms consulting in conflict management may deliver suitable results and hope that the group or individuals will use what they learned to resolve the issues. A select few consulting firms set themselves apart from the crowd with their passion and their skill at empathetic listening. Every business is a service business at the core, none more so than this specialty. Effective consultants support the individuals involved and strive to empower them to manage their own responses.
The most successful and effective methods are based on open, honest, and empathetic engagement. Individuals and organisations are encouraged to seek clarity about goals and objectives. After all, it’s much easier to hit a target that you can clearly see.