Dealing with disputes and conflict are an unfortunate fact of life for any strata manager, but problems don’t need to spiral out of control. With a few simple communication tools under your belt, managing issues and differences of opinion can be resolved easily and with all parties feeling heard and satisfied with the outcome. Practice these five practical communication tips in your daily interactions to help keep others happy and help build a foundation of respect and openness.
Choose your words wisely
Strata managers will often need to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings quickly, clearly, diplomatically, and with empathy for all parties involved. To avoid escalating the situation, one of the most powerful skills you can build is learning how to choose your words carefully and putting a positive spin on whatever you need to say. Don’t respond out of instinct and out of reaction, take a breath, spend a moment collecting your thoughts, and be selective in the words you use. Make sure each party is heard and don’t be hasty in responding, even when things get heated.
Practice empathy and understanding in every interaction
Being empathetic and understanding of other people’s perspectives doesn’t mean being a push-over, it just makes you a more effective strata manager and communicator. So, when dealing with issues, look at the situation from the other person’s point of view, consider what’s driving the issue and what may be at the heart of the problem, as the problem that’s being brought up may not be what’s really bothering them. As a strata manager, practising empathy and intently listening to all sides helps you find creative solutions and satisfactory outcomes for all involved.
Build respect through positive feedback
Saying overly critical comments or giving a lot of negative feedback is a sure way to lose people’s respect and break down open communication. Instead of taking a critical approach, practice giving positive feedback and learn how best to share constructive criticism. Using these strategies is a crucial element of being an effective and well-respected strata manager as it encourages parties to learn and grow without attacking the person’s self-esteem.
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Put out fires before they get out of hand
Of course, a literal fire should be contained as quickly and thoroughly as possible to avoid damage spreading, but the same goes with conflict resolution too. Don’t let misunderstandings get out of hand as an unattended dispute can quickly escalate into something more serious with little provocation. Managing conflicts while they’re small makes sure that you won’t run into larger problems in the long term.
Don’t underestimate old-fashioned common sense
Strata managers need to deal with lots of different people and conflicts on any given day, so approaching each problem with a common sense attitude goes a long way. Treating people courteously, communicating clearly with well-defined instructions and expectations, and finding common ground are great ways to not only solve issues but to also build mutual respect. Solutions to most problems don’t need to be complicated, so use your common sense; consider what solution would make you happiest if you were in the other person’s shoes, and always lead by example.
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