5 Steps to Resolve Conflict

Identifying Conflict

Conflict in business is simply unavoidable. Disagreement over actions, a clash of perspectives and opposing visions can result in problems between people. Some reactions may be inappropriate, while others seem justified. When it comes to effective communication, a professional’s ability to manage conflicts is one of the most challenging and rewarding skills there is. Dealing with, and understanding the source and outcome of conflict, is where knowledge becomes the key.

There are three types of conflicts

  • Inner
  • Interpersonal
  • Group

Inner conflict

Difficult to recognise and difficult to live with. This could occur from a lack of life-work balance. Those small emergencies which can spring up and soak away your family-time. Or it could be from a disagreement with a senior who has a view or an objective you don’t understand. Maybe you have a direction suddenly offered to you and it conflicts heavily with your ambitions? Inner conflicts typically challenge integrity, values and ethics. The reactions can be widely diverse and extreme.

Interpersonal conflict

Between two or more people where differences are brought to the surface. These differences can be in the way individuals communicate, their tone of voice and attitude, or their need for decision or compliance. The most prevalent areas which incite conflict are prejudice and bias, stubbornness (either perceived or established), sensitivity, and differences in perception, facts, goals and methods.

Sometimes there are underlying issues or a history of resentment which may surface when one of these catalysts are activated. People from different countries can harbour deep feelings based on political, religious and ideological views. It is therefore important to understand the true source of conflict and not be misled by assumption-on-the-apparent.

Group conflict

Personality, culture and values can clash. Workplace policies and practices, resource competition and an inadequate reward system may also be responsible for conflict, especially if unfair treatment is perceived. Polarisation occurs when two or more take a united stance which clashes with another’s view. This is how the union movement was established, and shows that we shouldn’t assume all conflicts are bad. It is important to note that the area most affected will be the breakdown of trust, so this is where your efforts must be focused.

Dealing with conflict

Resolving conflict in 5 steps

1) Remove all masks and encourage participants to be sincere and committed to turning the problem into an opportunity.

2) Identify the problem and allow each person to:

  • state their position
  • their needs
  • their assumptions

Trust building should be the goal of the discussion.

3) Clearly state a win/win only position and ask for options. If someone is keen to block and be stubborn this is where they will announce their intentions. Ensure all participants agree that it is win/win at all costs.

4) Allow participants to openly consider and evaluate all options tabled. There is a clear opportunity here to show each other respect, so any criticism should be avoided at all costs.

5) It is about building the relationship. The resolution of the conflict should strengthen the relationship and not weaken it.

Conflict resolution requires you to be a highly efficient, productive and performance-based leader. It is about rising to the challenge to unite others – the question is, do you have what it takes?

Charts from a dropdown list

Charts from a dropdown list in Excel

Many people who use Excel can generate a chart or two on their spreadsheets. This is a relatively easy task to perform in Excel. These charts will either sit in data sheets or in their own sheets.

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a button to click in Excel which gives you a list of charts to display on your sheet? Well, I can show you how to do this!

Just to let you know, you can do an excel course with us to learn this in practice.

First of all, you will need some charts. It doesn’t matter which types of charts they are. The screenshot below shows an example of a sheet containing data and charts:

Charts from a dropdown list

Once you have your charts up and running, you can begin to build your interactive button. The first thing you need to do is to select the cells which are behind the first chart, as shown below.

Charts from a dropdown list
Sales+Costs Chart

After doing this, click in the Name box (top left next to the Formula bar). In here, give this selection of cells a name, for instance Sales. Do the same for all the other charts you wish to add to the list. These names will be used later to choose the right chart from the list. Now, in a different place on the sheet, or in another sheet, type a list of your chart names you want to display in the dropdown box (see my example below ).

Charts from a dropdown list
List

Select this list and give it a name (in the Name box again), as shown above. This name will be used to generate the dropdown list. We are now ready to create the dropdown button. Add a new sheet to the workbook and name it Output. Activate the Developer tab in the ribbon. Click File – Options – Customize Ribbon, then tick the box next to Developer in the right hand side box. Select the Developer tab in the ribbon, then click the Insert button.

Charts from a dropdown list
Developer

This opens a toolbox from which you select the Combo Box item. Now, in the Output sheet, draw the Combo Box near the top of your sheet with your mouse. Afterwards, press Ctrl+1 (format control). A dialogue box opens as shown below:

Charts from a dropdown list
Format

Click in the Input range box and then type the name which you gave earlier to your list of charts  (I called mine ChartTypes). Next, click in the Cell link box, then click in any empty cell in your spreadsheet. This cell reference now sits in the Cell link box. We shall use this cell later to pick a chart.

The next thing we need to do is to define a name which uses Excel’s Choose function to pick the correct chart from the list.

Step 1: Select the Formulas tab, then select Define Name.

Step 2: Type SelChart into the Name box. (SelChart is my example)

Step 3: Type the following into the Refers To box:    =choose(                                                            Now select the cell you selected for the Cell link box earlier. Next, type the names you gave your charts in the Name box.

=choose(selected_cell,Name1,Name2,Name3)  (selected_cell is the cell you used in the Cell link box earlier. The other names are the names you gave the cell ranges behind your charts.)

Step 4: Click OK.

Almost there! We now need to again select the cells behind each chart, (one chart at a time), then right-click the selection. In the dialogue box, click Copy, then go to your Output sheet. Right-click below your dropdown combo box and select Paste Special – Linked Picture. (See below)

Charts from a dropdown list
Paste Special

Hopefully, you now have an image of your chart in that location on your sheet. Click in the formula bar and type =SelChart (again, this is my example). Press Enter. Do this for all your charts. Now you can create Charts from a dropdown list.