Whether you’re dealing with a litigious customer, an unresponsive employee or a manufacturing department plagued with delays, when conflicts arise in the sales manager’s life there’s only one way to handle them: confront the offender and blast them into submission, right?
Actually, confrontation is only one of several options for dealing with conflict, says Howard Guttman, principal of Guttman Development Strategies, Inc. in northern New Jersey and author of When Goliaths Clash: Managing Executive Conflict to Build a More Dynamic Organization (AMACOM, 2003). Confrontation doesn’t necessarily mean bashing your opponent over the head until they give in, says Guttman. Instead he says there are four main ways to deal with conflict, some of which are more effective than others.
1. Play the victim. Do nothing, act powerless and complain about your miserable lot in life.
2. Leave the scene. Physically remove yourself from involvement in a conflict.
3. Change yourself. Change your perception of the other party or the situation or “let it go,” says Guttman.
4. Confront the issue. Address the matter, not aggressively as many salespeople are be inclined to do, but openly, candidly and objectively, all the whiletrying to communicate with the other party.
On smaller issues, the most effective approach might be to just let the conflict go or to remove yourself from the situation. On larger issues, confrontation might be the way to go. Here are Guttman’s tips for engaging in constructive confrontation.
For more information, please click on www.guttmandev.com