A communications center is a unique environment that most of us of come to love, while at the same time many of us hate it.  With these feelings boiling inside of us simultaneously, we often move from one to the other during the same shift. Incorporating some practical skills and taking time to focus on this topic will help in resolving this issue.

What is the attitude of your communications center? Is it a good attitude or bad attitude? A center’s attitude is the same as the general attitude of the employees and management.  Do employees generally go above and beyond to help a caller?  Do you take a few extra seconds when you have them to help a person out?  You may have started with a good attitude that has now turned into a bad attitude. The most important factor about attitude is to understand that your attitude is yours, and you can change it. You have no one to blame but yourself.

When conflict arises in your center, ask yourself; Why are you having this conflict? Is this issue really important?  Do you have to be right? What is the interest of the other person involved? Have you listened to what they are saying? Many of us think that we are listening when we simply are not.

Some contributing factors to the conflict may be the following:  If you are always first to explain your side. Second, not listening and third, the fear of not being right. Some suggestions to improve conflict situations are to “eat crow” (eat your words) and say you are sorry. A simple reasonable conversation could help resolve the conflict and allow you to move on. Some other things to keep in mind when dealing with conflict are to avoid the rumor mill – it is never beneficial, do not over react, be realistic with your expectations, stop playing games, and confront conflict immediately.

To successfully resolve a conflict, you will need to learn and practice two core skills: the ability to quickly reduce stress in the moment and the ability to remain comfortable enough with your emotions to react in constructive ways even in the midst of an argument or a perceived attack.  Take a minute to think about it, breath, relax, and respond to the issue in a constructive way.

Remember, if you have conflict look at what part you are playing in that conflict. It takes two.

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