Success at Work - Ability to Resolve Conflict is Key

Gayle Oudeh

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What does it take to get ahead in your career? More than technical expertise, more than degrees or certifications, more than anything else, it takes people skills. People who know how to treat staff fairly, who work with others collaboratively, who know how to negotiate and problem solve. These are the people that will succeed.

Want to check it out for yourself? Have a look in the careers section of any newspaper. We did recently and found employers that were looking for “an astute negotiator, " “strong problem solving skills, " “the ability to think on your feet with tact and diplomacy, " “team building skills, " “exceptional skills in consensus-building, " “superior interpersonal skills, " “ability to influence, negotiate, build relationships and manage change, " “strength in dispute resolution, " and a “collaborative work style. " These are quotes from actual ads for a whole variety of different positions.

Why are these types of skills so valuable? Because these are the skills that are completely transferable, from one job to another, and from one company to another. Technical requirements may change from job to job, but the ability to work with others doesn't. And, regardless of IQ or education or experience, we can't do our jobs successfully without input, support, and assistance from the people we work with. If we don't know how to manage issues, problems, and crises as they arise (and they always will), we won't be successful - no matter how much subject matter expertise we have.

People who know how to negotiate and problem solve are people who are adaptable, communicative, and focused. Exactly the kind of employee every employer wants!

Gayle Oudeh and Nabil Oudeh are conflict management specialists and the principals of the Centre for Conflict Resolution International, a consulting firm that works with organizations of all shapes and sizes to resolve, manage, and prevent workplace conflict. In addition to their combined experience of over 30 years in the conflict resolution field, Gayle and Nabil credit their 18-year marriage for enhancing their understanding of conflict management theory and practice! Their entertaining and positive approach to the subject of conflict has made them sought-after facilitators and speakers. They are the co-authors of the recently published book, Conflict is for the Birds! Understanding Your Conflict Management Style.

For ongoing information, tips and advice about dealing with conflict at work, check out Gayle and Nabil's free newsletter at


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