There’s No Better New Year’s Resolution Than Becoming Better At Resolution – Forbes

There’s No Better New Year’s Resolution Than Becoming Better At Resolution – Forbes

Instead of making the same resolutions as last year, make this New Year’s resolution a commitment to … [+] learning a new skill – conflict resolution.


As the year draws to a close, it’s often a time to reflect on the past 12 months. Millions of people worldwide will make New Year’s resolutions, only to abandon them again within a few weeks.

This year, why not try a different approach? With workplace conflict affecting at least a third of employees each year, it’s never been a better time to focus on improving conflict resolution skills. By taking inspiration from some popular New Year’s resolutions, leaders can take three simple steps to build their conflict resilience in 2022.

#1 Exercise… the conflict muscle

According to a survey by YouGov, the most popular New Year’s resolution in 2021 was to do more exercise. Building physical fitness takes time and repetition, which also applies when developing conflict resolution skills. Just as no one can go from a sedentary lifestyle to running a 5km race overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect that dealing with conflict will feel like a walk in the park from day one.

Building conflict resilience is like strengthening our muscles. It is built up bit by bit and with attention, training, and practice. A good place to start is with the little niggles that crop up every day, such as feeling irritated when a teammate always shows up late or being upset when you feel repeatedly interrupted by a colleague. By acting early and speaking directly to the other person to understand their perspective, minor issues are unlikely to escalate into bigger disputes.

As with any fitness regime, realistic goal setting is important. And so is being prepared for the occasional training setback. A conflict conversation may not always go as expected, but there’s usually something that can be learned from it, which can be carried forward for the future. Conflict management training or on-demand resources can help the learning journey. More serious conflict issues may benefit from specialist expertise from a conflict coach or workplace mediator.

#2 Healthy eating… balancing the conflict diet

Very popular, especially after an indulgent festive break, is the resolution to eat better or lose weight, even though around 80% of diets don’t succeed. One of the main reasons for this is that a mindset change is needed first. Similarly, having a healthy mindset towards conflict is key to dealing with issues constructively. And yet, this is increasingly difficult to achieve.

Just as many people now recognize that a highly processed food diet can be harmful to health, there’s also the need to acknowledge that some information that is ‘consumed’ can be unhealthy to the conflict mindset. In an increasingly digital world, AI algorithms track what users read and watch and then offer similar content to maximize time spent on the platform. Instead of experiencing a wide range of unfiltered content, digital consumers receive a higher proportion of information that aligns with and reinforces existing …….


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