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Definition: Conflict management skills help manage and limit the negative aspects of a dispute when two or more parties have different opinions or views about a specific issue. Conflict management aims to transform conflict into a productive part of the workplace where it’s accepted and used positively.
Did you know?
According to the CPP Global Human Capital Report, a full 85% of US employees deal with conflict at work.
As a result, US businesses lose an estimated $359 billion annually, making workplace conflicts a major drain for any organization regardless of its size.
So—it’s only logical that recruiters favor candidates with strong conflict resolution skills that can iron out wrinkles.
The good news?
In this guide, you’ll see:
- Conflict resolution skills definition.
- A list of strong conflict management skills examples.
- How to improve your conflict resolution skills.
- How to add conflict management skills to your resume.
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And once you’ve mastered your conflict resolution skills, check out a selection of other resume writing guides.
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Check out more skills guides:
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Conflict Management Skills on a Resume Example
Anne De Leon
CS Team Leader
Customer service team leader with 5+ years of experience in the BPO industry. Eager to take the next step at Concentrix. At Teletech, supported and managed 3 different teams through team leader apprenticeship. Increased the quality rating of the 3 teams by 100%. Reduced onshore hand-off rates by 78% through data analysis and collaboration with the team and UK counterparts.
CS Team Leader
Teletech, Los Angeles, CA
November 2016–May 2021
- Received two Shining Star awards for increasing and maintaining the teams’ quality rating.
- Reduced onshore hand-off rates by 78% through analysis of customer requests handled and inputs from the team.
- Led monthly calls with our UK counterparts to further improve the process.
- Provided necessary coaching and feedback to colleagues.
- Cross-trained to support and help lead 2 additional teams as a team leader apprentice.
- Helped organize all LOB-based events.
Customer Service Representative
Teletech, Los Angeles, CA
October 2015–November 2016
- Received a quality award for achieving a 100% quality rating for 7 straight months.
- Managed and updated customers’ personal information on client-based tools.
- Handled an average of 105 customer requests daily.
- Promoted to CS team leader after 1 year on the job.
Fox Valley Technical College, BS in Business Management
- Joined the Campus Engagement Organization (CEO), helped plan campus events and activities
- Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification
- Leadership and Management Certification
- Shining Star Award, Teletech, December 2018
- Shining Star Award, Teletech, December 2017
- Quality Award, Teletech, May 2016
- Flower gardening & flower arrangements
- Engaged in boxing as a hobby each week
- Customer service
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Data analysis
- Quality assurance
- Team management
- Time & stress management
- Coaching & feedback
1. Why Are Conflict Resolution Skills Important?
If you’ve been in the workplace for quite some time, you know firsthand that conflicts aren’t few and far between.
After all, conflict is a healthy component of any professional relationship, as people need to communicate and negotiate their needs with others to co-exist happily.
That said, when workplace conflicts go unsolved, they can flare up into resentment, dent productivity, and generally cause friction.
That’s why most employers place a great emphasis on conflict resolution skills. And they’re particularly sought-after in candidates for leadership roles.
2. Top Conflict Resolution Skills Examples
At this point, you know conflict management skills are valuable in the workplace.
Let’s look at a list of nine core conflict management skills examples to help your candidacy stand out.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is your ability to see and understand your own emotions and those of everyone around you. One reason this skill is crucial when dealing with conflict is that it’ll make you good at pinpointing and meeting others’ needs and preventing workplace tensions from escalating.
2. Verbal and Non-verbal Communication
Communication and resolving conflicts are inseparable, as burying your head in the sand won’t yield fruitful results. That’s why having a good command of verbal and non-verbal communication can help better understand the other party’s motivations and prevent conflict from escalating.
In essence, empathy is your ability to put yourself in the other party’s shoes and understand their feelings, motivations, and frustrations. If you want to be fluent in conflict management, you need to know how to relate to people and assure them they are being heard.
Most conflicts in the workplace are slow to overcome. More so when there’s no clear-cut solution that’s fair for each person involved. So, it’s critical that you can take the time to consider all viewpoints carefully before pulling the trigger.
Often, resolving a conflict will involve give-and-take or compromise between the parties. So, you’ll need to have strong negotiating skills in your arsenal to ensure each conflict participant meets in the middle, preventing one side from having more leverage.
Expert Hint: To be a better negotiator, encourage each party involved in the conflict to spare the rant. Instead, get them to be clear and specific about the issue at hand to keep the conversation constructive.
As a potential mediator, the last thing you want to do is take sides, as it can harm team dynamics in a heartbeat. That’s why it’s important to know how to focus on the conflict itself, centering your energy on finding a solution, not the people or their traits.
While personal differences can often lead to conflict, it’s essential to understand the behaviors of the other party and learn to focus on shared goals rather than disagreements. Sometimes, that requires suppressing your ego and learning to consider other team members’ needs first.
8. Problem Solving
Conflict resolution and problem-solving go hand in hand. After all, these skills can help working professionals approach a challenge objectively, consider multiple interests and viewpoints, and develop various solutions. That can prevent or at least lower the chance of a conflict emerging.
9. Stress Management
It’s common for conflict to create a stressful situation for each and every employee involved. That’s why you must have the tools to manage your emotions and cope with workplace conflict frustrations.
3. How to Include Conflict Management Skills on Your Resume
Keep in mind that we all need strong conflict resolution skills in our application, whether you’re a manager or an individual contributor.
Have a look at how to write a resume, so it highlights your conflict management skills.
1. Start with Your Resume Profile
When reviewing a resume, most employers will start with your resume profile section (also known as a career summary or career objective.) Fail to feature your conflict resolution skills, and you might get marked as “Not a fit.” So, here’s how to list them in your resume summary.
Conflict Management Skills in the Resume Summary
2. Supercharge Your Work Experience Section
The work experience on your resume plays a crucial part too. Unless you’re a recent grad with hardly any experience under your belt, that’s where employers will spend most of their time. If your work experience section is robust, you’ll get the callback. If not, you’ll likely get an automated “thanks but no thanks” email from the company.
So, that’s where you want to center your efforts and highlight your conflict resolution skills.
Have a look at the three resume tips below to nail this section, followed by an example:
- When appropriate, list professional achievements from past roles made possible by your conflict management skills and use numbers to quantify.
- Stick to accomplishment statements to show recruiters how well you did in your last company rather than just mentioning what you did.
- Start each bullet point with a powerful action verb (e.g., “created,” “launched, ”streamlined”) instead of using weak phrases like “responsible for.”
Job Description with Conflict Management Skills
3. Make the Most Of Your Education Section
- Mention any extracurricular activities you’ve completed.
- Add your GPA.
- Include individual modules you’ve studied.
Conflict Resolution Skills in the Education Section
4. Brush up Your Skills Section
When crafting a resume, most of us will be tempted to list all the skills we’ve accumulated over the years, but that could make your resume hard to scan. Instead, you need to make your skills section focused and impactful.
Below are several tips:
- Before you send your resume, be sure to tailor it to a particular job. To do it, read the job description carefully and note the skills the company is looking for in prospective candidates. Then, add those skills to your document to elevate your hireability.
- Take the time to write a short statement for each skill to give the hiring manager more information about why you’re good at it.
Conflict Resolution Skills in the Skills Section
5. Include Additional Sections
If you’re looking to rise above the noise, consider adding additional sections to your resume.
Below are two ideas for inspiration:
- If you speak more than one language, add a language section to your resume. It’ll help you win some brownie points since it’s an important communication skill that can help you better resolve conflicts in the workplace.
- If you have interests or hobbies that are relevant to the job or demonstrate your conflict management skills, be sure to showcase them. For example, if you coached a team (which often requires conflict management skills), let recruiters know.
Conflict Management Skills in the Extra Sections
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4. How to Improve Conflict Resolution Skills
If you lack some conflict resolution skills, don’t despair. It’s possible to master them.
1. Improve Your Emotional Agility
While it might seem emotional intelligence is innate, it can actually be learned and developed. A good place to start is to take notice of how you react to people. Ask yourself, “Are you quick to judge before you have all the facts? “Do you often stereotype”?. If that’s the case, try putting yourself in other people’s shoes and be more open to other perspectives, even if they contradict yours.
2. Give the Right Verbal and Non-verbal Cues
An excellent way to improve your conflict management skills is to use more concise language. When involved in a conflict at work, try to be more clear and straightforward to make your message easier to understand. Now, when delivering the message, make the best use of your body language. Occasionally, it's good practice to nod your head, keep your posture open and interested, and encourage the other party to continue with small verbal comments like "yes," or "uh-huh."
3. Work on Having a Nonjudgmental Attitude
When we judge others, most often, it’s because we have insecurity of our own, and we try to make ourselves feel better about our choices by putting our boss or colleagues down. One of the best ways to grow less judgmental is to understand the underlying reasons behind our urge to judge. Ask yourself, “Why did that trigger me?”. It’ll help channel your negative thoughts into curiosity and self-reflection, which will let you better understand why you felt the need to be judgmental.
4. Don’t Let Impatience Prevail
Patience is often tricky. But if you make a conscious effort to be patient at work and in other situations, too, you’ll be a much better version of yourself. So, start by developing self-discipline, as it’s one of the core factors for being patient.
5. Learn to Be a Stronger Negotiator
One of the best ways to improve your negotiation skills at work is to recognize the power of thorough preparation. When you come unprepared, you’ll likely overlook sources of value, make unnecessary concessions, and ultimately walk away from beneficial agreements. So, always prepare thoroughly. Put aside some time to collect the other party’s viewpoint and figure out a reasonable compromise beforehand.
6. Avoid Taking Sides
Don’t be tempted to take someone’s side (e.g., because you might like the other person better); focus on the issue instead. It’s a great way to create an environment that allows for problem-solving and generating ideas that could bring resolution.
7. Use Active Listening
At its core, problem-solving requires that you take in a variety of opinions and viewpoints and analyze them carefully and objectively. That’s why to be good at problem-solving, you need to be a good listener and ensure that each party involved in the conversation feels heard.
8. Search Out The Cause
Discovering the original cause of a dispute is essential to resolving it. Work with the parties who are in dispute to document events and discover the origin of the conflict. Having this ability will improve your chance of resolving disputes and preventing them from happening again.
9. Master the Art of Compromise
Aim to work for a win-win solution where both parties feel that their grievances are heard. Think of outcomes that will allow both parties to offer concessions and achieve a positive outcome. You’ll find that in most circumstances, a mutually acceptable solution is not just possible, but the best outcome to a dispute.
Expert Hint: Make a point to practice your conflict management skills from time to time. You’ll feel much more comfortable using them when you put them into action.
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Whether you’re a manager or an individual contributor, having strong conflict resolution skills on a resume can boost your employability chances.
Take the time to improve your conflict management skills to push your career forward. You’ll not only know how to deal with conflicts in the workplace effectively, but you’ll also elevate your team morale if you’re in a position of power.
Lastly, sprinkle examples of conflict management skills throughout your resume and cover letter to help make your application stand out.
Thanks for reading. If you’re still struggling with conflict resolution skills or just need some advice on adding them to your resume, let us know in the comments section below. We’re here to help.