Conflicts and disagreements can arise at any time, often seeming to appear out of thin air. The art of managing and resolving conflict is crucial both at home and at work. It starts by being aware of the importance of tact and diplomacy, and how these can be used to help to defuse difficult situations.
Good conflict managers are able to bring disagreements into the open, and resolve them. They use sharing of emotions to encourage debate and open discussion, reducing the hidden currents and problems, and helping each party to recognise each other’s feelings as well as logical position. They also try to obtain win-win solutions
It may sound strange to include leadership skills as part of social skills. Surely emotional intelligence is part of leadership, not the other way round?
The answer is that leadership skills and emotional intelligence are inextricably linked. As we noted earlier, only those who are tuned into their own and others’ emotions can hope to influence. Perhaps the key aspect of good leadership is influence, and being able to take others along with you. Some people call that charisma, but it is more profound than that: it is good emotional intelligence.
Good leaders will:
- Be able to articulate a vision, and enthuse others with it;
- Not need to be in a formal leadership role to provide leadership;
- Support and guide the performance of colleagues, while holding them accountable; and
- Lead by example.
Change Management Skills
Effective change managers, often known as change catalysts, are those who make change happen without alienating everyone involved.
We can all understand that change is naturally quite stressful for all those involved. Good change catalysts, however, make it an exciting opportunity rather than a threat. Independently, they recognise the need for change and remove barriers. They challenge the status quo and champion change. They also lead from the front, modelling the desired change.