Why should leaders be skilled in conflict management


getting leaders fit to tackle internal conflicts successfully

Why should leaders be skilled in conflict management?

leaders who are skilled to act on conflicts early on by targeted, flexible interventions have the highest chance to limit damages resulting from conflicts. Skilled leaders render the organisation more resilient to conflicts 

People are not born as managers. By experience and learning they shape a leadership personality, develop a mindset, develop their skills and learn how to work with a team to achieve goals. 

Handling conflicts is an overall “unloved” task (not only in companies). As all other leadership skills, it needs building up knowledge, adopting strategies and … PRACTICE.

On a pure cost-level companies can benefit strongly by tackling conflicts in a timely fashion. Leaders of all levels are in the position to perceive tensions, ignore them if they are just bad days or occasional hick ups and address them if they recognise them as developing conflicts.

Leaders can contribute to a considerable degree to a constructive conflict culture in their team or unit. In case of actual conflicts, they can also, through well measured and adapted interventions, make sure that conflicts are addressed, solved, and thus restrict their damaging effects. 

Our aim is to support companies building up their leaders’ expertise in internal conflict management.

managers are in the right spot …

by addressing conflicts in their area of responsibility early on, they have the best chances to limit their negative effects and establish sustainable outcomes.

Our leadership training program is based on the key message that managers are responsible for the management of all conflicts in their area of responsibility. We know that that is a challenging claim which might make a lot of leaders’ hair stand on end. So, let’s assure you: It does neither mean that leaders should be acting as judges, nor that they are responsible for the specific solutions to conflicts. 

They are, however, responsible that conflicts are addressed, that paths are defined towards solving the issues and that the paths are followed through – or rectified – until sustainable solutions have been agreed on. Depending on the actual team, the specific situation, and the intensity of the conflict at hand, this could mean very little intervention on the part of the leader or a lot. Our fundamental credo for leadership intervention in conflicts is: “As little as possible, as much as necessary“. 

As in all our services our aim is to provide to companies both learning paths to build up individual competencies and learning paths for organisation development. We teach leaders to know what to do under which circumstances, and in this way enhance their competencies to act in conflicts. And we open learning paths for the company to build up conflict resilience.

Our trainings are lively, insightful, challenging and entertaining. That’s what participants say at the end of programs. Impact has been venturing into online formats starting in 2015. We assure the same high quality as in in-presence workshops. Our long and profound experience over many years of training practice allows us to match workshop goals with the right – effective! – methodology and corresponding tools.

Who benefits?

Leaders of all levels of your hierarchy, of all functions, HQ or sites, countries. In fact, the better the mix of leadership levels and functions, the higher the impact of the program in shaping the conflict management of your company. The better the mix, the higher is your company’s ROI on this investment.

Benefits of leadership competencies in conflict management

Enabling managers to address conflicts as early as possible and on the lowest possible hierarchy level saves time, cost and increases the chances of sustainable outcomes.

Training leaders to enhance their competencies to manage conflicts is beneficial to an organisation in many ways:

  • Conflicts devour time, energy and productivity, leadership conflict management sustains and nourishes productivity.
  • By identifying and addressing trouble spots immediately, leadership conflict management is an investment into the present.
  • It also is an investment into the future. It empowers your team to a growing degree to adopt a proactive, constructive, and autonomous conflict competency.

Conflict management saves management time, it saves costs and contributes to retaining employees.


Conflict management as a leadership task – A leadership training program

Our leadership training program enhances the competencies of managers to handle conflicts productively. Hands-on, and rich in tools and strategies it provides leaders with the skills to handle conflicts and foster good solutions in their leadership function. This training program builds up conflict competency as well as conflict resilience.

  1. We enable managers to analyse situations of existing or emerging conflicts. We teach them which options are at hand to intervene and how to decide on the best path at any given moment. 
  2. The participating leaders reflect their own conflict patterns and analyse their leadership identity. This helps them to embed these strategies well and guarantee a successful transfer.
  3. A third cornerstone of the program is to match the new leadership approach well with the company environment. Leaders must for instance be aware of both company specific conflict sensitive areas and the company culture concerning conflicts. 

These key points are addresses via Interactive, ample practical exercises, providing tools ready to apply in day-to-day leadership practice, and introducing concepts and substantial insights on conflict theory and conflict dynamics. We offer various training formats, ranging from workshops covering all aspects of conflict management to training modules focussing on particular “themes” (such as practicing on mock cases, conflict escalation, facilitation skills for confrontational situations,…). We also provide Business Coaching to support managers and Mediation to assist in conflicts that have grown to a scale which requires external intervention.

We are happy to supply you with details of the training program.