May 12

Managing Conflict in Your Club Program

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An issue turns into a problem, and easily into conflict if the former cannot be resolved.

The latter can be defined as a ‘disagreement’ but it is really more than that.

In Your club program conflicts can arise from several sources: coaches, swimmers, parents, organizational-emotional and /or psychological factors.

It becomes complex because it is usually perceived as a challenge to the philosophy, opinions, beliefs, needs, interests, or concerns of one or several parties.

People tend to hold believes or myths about conflict, namely that it is always negative or has to become a contest, which is incorrect as only the results are either positive or negative!

In conflict management, the difficulty lies in the fact that one has to deal with various personality types and behaviors.

It is absolutely critical to possess or acquire the essential leadership skills to mage conflict successfully.

Consequently, it is suggested to assess one’s personal capabilities and/or competency, and to identify the personal management style to prepare for discussions and to maintain personal balance throughout.

Such assessment can be achieved through the use of existing management surveys.

During the process, one has to be cognizant of potential interfering factors, possess excellent communication skills, have the ability to understand and interpret body language correctly, and be a superb and attentive listener.

Thus, a series of operational steps or guidelines are recommended to reach creative solutions, which are attained through Facilitation – Negotiation – Arbitration – Mediation – and Conciliation.

The more solutions the better in order to arrive at that agreement, which is beneficial for all parties involved.

Additionally, building positive relationships in Your club and setting up preventive strategies are critical to avoid future conflicts.

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