conflict resolution certificate

Having brilliant ideas about how to solve problems in your industry only takes you so far. To be truly successful in your career, you must work collaboratively. An organization can only succeed if its members can resolve the interpersonal and inter-group conflicts that will inevitably arise. If someone in the organization is highly knowledgeable about conflict management, then the entire organization can be more efficient and productive. Therefore, by getting a conflict resolution certificate, you are enhancing your own skills and helping your organization achieve its goals.

A Conflict Resolution Certificate Is a Great Asset to Your Career and Your Organization

The Management and Strategy Institute offers a certification test by which professionals can get the title of Certified Conflict Manager. People who have passed the exam and earned this conflict resolution certificate may use the abbreviation “CCM” after their names to denote this professional qualification.

Many employers encourage their employees to engage in continuing education to build their professional skills. When you take a course in conflict management to prepare for the CCM exam, you will learn conflict management skills that you can begin to apply immediately. In other words, conflict management certification can start paying dividends in your career even before you take the certification exam.

What Do Certified Conflict Managers Do?

By the time you earn a conflict resolution certificate, you will become versed in the many aspects of conflict management. These are some of the subjects you will find out about and the skills you will develop in your role as a Certified Conflict Manager:

• Conflict psychology
• Interpersonal conflict
• Intergroup conflict
• The theory of conflict
• Managing emotions in the workplace
• Mediation methodologies and techniques
• Effective communication skills
• Goal-focused conflict resolution
• Negotiation skills

In other words, conflict management skills are essential for anyone in a leadership role in a professional organization.

How to Facilitate Cohesion Within Your Team

One of the things you will learn when studying for your conflict resolution certificate is how to build a team where the members communicate easily and effectively with each other. There is strength in diversity, so it is a better idea to hire employees from a variety of professional backgrounds. These employees will be more innovative in the long run than a team made up of your old buddies would be. It will take work to get them to develop a shared vision and a shared workflow, though.

You Don’t Need Booze to Build Cohesion Within Your Team, But You Need Something

In Plato’s Symposium, seven men representing a variety of professions attend a social gathering where they seek to define the concept of love. The guests include a soldier, a statesman, a comic playwright, and Socrates the philosopher, among others. The book’s humor lies in the fact that the soldier thinks like a soldier, the comic playwright thinks like a comedian, and so on. Even though they are all describing the same thing, it sounds like they are describing completely different phenomena.

In ancient Greece, a symposium was a drinking party, even though the term refers to professional conferences today. The participants in the symposium in Plato’s book had a skillful facilitator to help them understand each other, namely wine. Most managers do not have this handy tool at their disposal. Happy hour can build cohesion in some work teams, but it can’t be your only resource for getting your team members to listen to each other. Team building should be a normal part of your workday, not an extracurricular event.

Read the Room Until You Know It From Memory

While you should not hand-pick a team of your personal cronies, you should invest time in getting to know the people you have hired. Scheduling team building events during work hours means lost productivity, and scheduling them outside work hours is inimical to work-life balance. Instead, you should initiate low-stakes conversations with the members of your team. The real purpose of doing this is to make meaningful follow-up small talk. In doing this, you are sending the message that team members can talk to you, and you will listen.

Conflict resolution means different things in different contexts. A manager is not a referee, a judge, or a mental health counselor. When you get to know your team members, you get to know each one’s strengths and pet peeves. You can envision how they will react to various stresses when working cooperatively with colleagues or when dealing with complaints from customers. When you make small talk with your team members about current work projects, you can detect conflicts and problems before they get big.

Defusing Conflict Is Part of Your Job Description

When a team member comes into your office and complains about things that another team member is doing wrong, what is the first thought that goes through your mind? It should not be, “How dare you be so short-tempered!” It also shouldn’t be, “How dare she be so flaky!” Instead, you should think, “What can I do to stop this conflict from getting worse?”

Even if you have a conflict resolution certificate, effective conflict resolution does not mean having a ready solution to prescribe in any situation. Managers still have to think on their feet and resolve problems on a case-by-case basis. Bringing the feuding coworkers into your office to hash things out only works in some situations. It depends on the personalities involved, the nature of the disagreement, and the work the team is trying to accomplish.

If an impromptu mediation session is not in the cards, you have several options. You can reassign one or both team members to another project. You can let them both think that they are right and work more closely with them until they finish the project. The only way you can be sure to make things worse is if you take no action and just leave things to chance.

Preventing Conflicts Can Mean Letting People Solve Their Own Problems

The “high responsibility, low control” management style is the most effective management style across economic sectors. This management style entails having a plan for the company, the team you manage, and individual projects. It also means that, once you have communicated your expectations to your team members, you trust them to do their work. You are always available to answer their questions; you will have sent this message clearly through effective team-building measures. Meanwhile, you do not micromanage your employees or get in the way of their work. Many workplace conflicts are a simple case of “too many cooks spoil the broth.” The least you can do is to be one less unsolicited opinion standing in the way of your employees’ workflow.

Agreeing to Disagree Is a Valid Solution to Some Conflicts

Simply avoiding conflicts usually makes them worse. You may find, however, when all parties involved in the conflict discuss matters openly together, some of them have mutually exclusive viewpoints. When this happens, it is sometimes appropriate for you as the manager to cast the deciding vote. With some conflicts, though, you may decide that moving forward without a solution is the best option or even the only feasible option. In either case, your job as a manager is to recognize that it is a waste of time to encourage people to talk in circles when you know that neither of them can become convinced of the other’s position.

Taking a managerial decision to agree to disagree is a delicate balancing act, though. If you do this habitually, it may send the message that you are indecisive. When you resolve not to resolve a conflict, you should clearly communicate to all parties involved why you have chosen this response. Non-solutions should not be your default mode of management. In order to know which problems truly defy solutions, you must have a good track record of resolving workplace conflicts.

How Do You Get Certified as a Conflict Manager?

To get the CCM qualification, you must pass the CCM certification test administered by the Management and Strategy Institute. Taking a conflict management course before taking the exam is the best way to ensure the successful completion of your conflict resolution certificate.

PeaceComm offers a training course to help students prepare for successfully completing the CCM exam. The course has no prerequisites. It lasts eight weeks, during which time the student meets once per week with a trainer for one-on-one mentorship. Besides this, students spend about four hours per week studying the course materials and working independently on exercises. Therefore, the course requires an investment of about 40 hours. The course is open to all students, regardless of educational background and work experience.

Getting a certificate that attests to your conflict management skills can help you achieve your leadership goals. You are never too old or too young to develop your skills in resolving interpersonal conflicts. One-on-one mentorship in conflict management will prepare you for a career where conflict management is an essential skill. Contact PeaceComm to find out more about enrolling in a Certified Conflict Manager course.