To achieve Step 10, individuals will show that they can resolve unhelpful conflicts.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to avoid creating conflicts with others. This step builds on this by exploring how to resolve disputes that have started – whether of the individual’s own making or not.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
As we saw in Step 9, conflicts can emerge from all sorts of differences, misunderstandings, not feeling included or a sense of unfairness or injustice. These conflicts can escalate quickly through a downward spiral that includes:
The way to resolve a conflict is to stop this downward cycle, and the earlier that it can be stopped the better.
There are some basic things that you can do to resolve your own conflicts:
Then you will need to talk to the other person – this is the way to speak openly about the conflict, where it has come from, what the impact is on you both on your wider team, and how you might be able to resolve it. This might be a challenging conversation, so it is essential to go into it prepared:
The good news is that if you can resolve a conflict, then it can improve your relationship with someone else and build confidence. This means that you can get back onto a positive upward cycle again:
As part of a team, it might be that at times you need to help resolve conflicts between other members of your team. In this situation, you need to set up a context where it is possible to have a good conversation.
In education, group discussions and team working will be common strategies for both learning and extra-curricular activities, whether in lessons, sport clubs or social activities. Teamwork involving conflict can be a negative experience, so the ability to prevent conflicts in a team and manage conflicts between others will ensure the experience is more likely to be a positive one for everyone. By effectively resolving conflict it shows you are able to rebuild trust and relationships in others which is important when working or interacting with the same people again.
The output of a team activity at work will usually relate to something that benefits the organisation: for example, a reorganisation, new clients, or the recruitment of new employees. If conflict is allowed to build between members of the team then the decision making process will tend to be longer or the quality of the decision impaired, each being detrimental to the productivity of the organisation. The ability to manage and resolve conflicts between others will ensure the process and outcome will have a more positive impact. As in education, it also demonstrates to leaders that you are able to rebuild trust and relationships in others which can support working together in the future.
Whenever a group of people work together on a common activity, for example a holiday or trip with friends, a fundraising activity or simply organising a party, each person will bring a different perspective and conflict may occur. The ability to not introduce any conflict on the first instance will be an asset to the group, but a greater skill and one that will be appreciated by others in the group, is the ability to resolve any conflicts building between others. No one would choose to have their social life and experiences spoiled by conflict.
To best practise this step of Teamwork, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step lends itself effectively to being reinforced in the classroom setting, where conflicts often emerge. Learners can be encouraged to take an active approach to resolving conflicts, or to use a peer to support those conversations.
This step is best assessed through observing a structured activity using role play where the learners are given different information and perspectives on a problem that has led to a conflict and have to resolve this between them. A similar activity could assess whether learners can facilitate a conversation between their peers to resolve a dispute.
This step is relevant to all those who work with others on shared work.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through observation and collecting feedback. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: